Liberia: FDA Initiates Staff Capacity Building Program

-- 21 in-service forest rangers begin intensive training at FTI

At least 21 staffs of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) have begun a six-week 'intensive' in-service training at the Forestry Training Institute (FTI) in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, to build their individual capacities, an FDA release has said.

According to the release, the training essentially forms an integral component of the management's strategic plan and dream to develop the skills of its staffs to enable them adequately and professionally perform their respective roles consistent with the overall objective of the sustainable management of the country's remaining forests.

This is important, especially at a time when the need to protect and promote the culture of biodiversity conservation has become the key focus of Liberia, and her international development partners.

It is projected that at the end of the training, the staffs will have harvested needed skills and knowledge in the forestry, agro-forestry, law enforcement techniques, forestry inventory in commercial and conservation forestry, biodiversity conservation, tree identification, GPS grading and computer science, which are fundamentally comparative as far as the roles of professional forest rangers are concerned.

While officially launching the program on Tuesday, August 8, 2019 at FTI, FDA deputy managing director for administration and finance, Benjamin Tennessee Plewon, reiterated management's unwavering resolve to upgrade the capacities of the staff at all levels, terming human capacity-building as the alternative way to national success.

Plewon challenged the trainees to make maximum use of the opportunity, adding, "The success of the Pro-poor dream and vision depends on the development of the capacity of those practically policing our forest."

He also challenged the trainees to rule out failure as they strived to become professional forest rangers.

"Nothing good comes easy, so you need to be resilient and focused in making your journey through the storm. Your success in life is judged by your passion for what you desire to be," Mr. Plewon told the trainees.

Meanwhile, Plewon has expressed gratitude to President George Weah for affording the management team the opportunity to serve the Liberian people; a challenge he said they will execute in line with the dream of the government's Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.

FDA deputy managing director for operations, Joseph J. Tally, also advised the trainers to include the Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC) as part of the courses to be offered so as to give the prospective rangers the deserving fitness and discipline given the role they are expected to perform.

Tally also admonished them to cultivate and exhibit the virtue of obedience required of professional rangers.

Similarly, the executive director of the FTI, Jeremiah Karmo, described the institute as a 'premise of discipline.'

Karmo then encouraged the FDA management to expect the best out of the trainees at the end of the program. He promised thorough discipline, which he said remains a benchmark set for all students in the domain of the entity to meet.

The monitoring and evaluation officer at the REDD+ Implementation Unit (RIU), George Forpoh, expressed happiness for the initiative, and promised the World Bank's timely support to refurbish some of the buildings on the FTI campus to accommodate students in the near future.

He said the bank's attention is drawn to the immediate needs of FTI in the wake of the determination of the administration to train middle level forest rangers.

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