Liberia: Robust Management Scheme for Grebo/Krahn National Park Released

-- FDA, partners set IMET strategy in motion

A robust management scheme that focuses on accelerating the protection and security of the Grebo/Krahn National Park in the truest sense of the word has been officially released, and subsequently endorsed by all stakeholders in Monrovia, a release from the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) said on Friday, November 15, 2019.

According to the release, stakeholders reached the decision at the end of a four-day workshop beginning November 11-14, 2019.

Formulated by the FDA in collaboration with the OIPR, a French version of an international protected area management consultant Tamar Ron, and supported by the GIZ/AMBERO, the strategy named: "Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET), is expected to infuse more vigor to the management of the Grebo National park, located in Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties.

The IMET is an internationally acceptable mechanism often applied to a given area where conservation results are deemed agreeable and supportable.

More importantly, according to the release, the planning, monitoring and evaluation of protected areas within the Tai-Grebo-Krahn and Sapo landscapes, is a paramount tool to guide management decisions, and ensure the harmonization in the frame work of an improved trans-boundary cooperation between Liberia and Ivory Coast.

In the spirit of the framework of the current technical cooperation between the Ivorian office of Parks and Reserves (OIPR), and the FDA, a training of trainers workshop was organized in Abidjan, La Cote d'Ivoire to build capacity on the IMET instrument to technicians from OIPR, and FDA in July 2019.

Hence, the workshop was aimed at enhancing the understanding of the tool by both technicians from Liberia and the Ivory Coast to enable them practically apply it to the Grebo/Krahn National Park, and make it operationally feasible as far as international standard is concerned.

Under the IMET arrangement, 16 staff members from the FDA are expected to benefit from the training to enable them access the effectiveness of the Grebo/Krahn National Park in different, yet equally important aspects of its management.

The tool will also essentially enable them identify threats, challenges and opportunities while placing them in the able position to review the vision and identify the goals, as well as management objectives consistent with the management of the park.

At the same time, FDA managing director, C. Mike Doryen, has described the IMET tool as a worthwhile instrument, which according to him, will go a long way in providing sustained security, and protection of the park.

Mr. Doryen then challenged the current generation to do all it can to be remembered by history, as far as the conservation of nature is concerned.

He also described the forest as the natural home of medicinal properties and rich biodiversity that should be protected at all times given its usefulness to mankind.

He reiterated the enforcement of the law to the letter if and when the parks and all other protected areas are to remain unharmed and protected from the hands of poachers and all others alike.

Mr. Doryen expressly acknowledged efforts by the participants, and visiting lecturers that led to the successful conduct of the workshop and promised FDA's undaunted cooperation with all stakeholders working in the forest sector to ensure a practical reality of the IMET.

He stressed the need for systematic awareness raising of the wildlife and protected management law since, according to him, a marked portion of the Liberian society even including key policy makers, are not cognizant of the law.

He challenged all conservation partners to remain focused and aligned with carving conservation friendly strategies that could at all times ensure positive results in line with the national dream of conservation.

Doryen also disclosed that certain parks are being earmarked for pilot- testing of ecotourism practices; something he said worth appreciating.

In collaboration with the staff members of the FDA, other partners that will ensure that the IMET tool is successful, include Liberia Land Authority (LLA), Flora and Fuana International (FFI), and World Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF) Society for the Conservation of Nature in Liberia (SCNL), LISPED, CENFOR, etc.

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