16 May 2019

Liberia: FDA Suspends Tartweh Drapoh Community Forest's Activities

Mr. C. Mike Doryen, FDA Managing Director, says all outstanding issues at Tartweh Drapoh must be resolved peacefully.

The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) has with immediate effect, suspended all activities in the Tartweh Drapoh Community Forest in Sinoe County, pending consultations with all stakeholders to resolve all outstanding issues consistent with the laws and regulations governing the forestry sector.

Although, the FDA statement issued on Thursday, May 2, 2019, did not detail the outstanding issues that needed to be resolved by the forest stakeholders in the country, yet it cautioned stakeholders to revert to its management to seek redress to whatever grievances they may have rather, than filing any lawsuit.

The FDA management said it will take appropriate administrative and legal action against any stakeholder failing to adhere to the warning. It further emphasized that while it remains committed to upholding the rule of law, the entity will not tolerate any misuse of the law by anyone to cause insecurity and disruption in the peace currently prevailing in the country.

According to the FDA, Chapter 6.1. of the Community Rights Law established its jurisdiction as the lead agency for community forestry, while chapter 6.2 (f) of the same Regulation, further empowers the FDA to facilitate the resolution of conflicts upon request by an Authorized Forest Community.

The FDA management said it will shortly request authorities at the Ministry of Justice and the National Security Agency to conduct an assessment of the security risk associated with recent disturbances around the Tartweh Drapoh Community Forest, with the aim of putting into place corrective and precautionary measures to hold perpetrators accountable, and curb any further disturbances.

Meanwhile, the entity has commended Sinoe County Legislative caucus, the ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs, as well as civil society actors for their individual and collective supports, and cooperation in ensuring that law and order in the forestry sector prevail.

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