Liberia: Citizens of Tongay, Normon in Gbarpolu and Nyorwein and Jo River in Rivercess Sign Community Forest Management MOU

Monrovia — In what is seen as positive development between two community forest regions - Tongay and Normon in Gbarpolu County and Nyorwein and Jo River communities in Rivercess County - Friday agreed to manage their forests for their collective benefits.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), through its partners Society for the Conservation of Nature and European Union, the communities agreed that going forward, they should manage their forests for the empowerment of rural dwellers.

A member of one of the communities, Bana Quaqua, said he was glad that communities of the two forest regions will now claim ownership of their forests, which, according to him, will provide the enabling space for community dwellers to have a broader understanding of the Community Rights Law.

"So, your big man will sit here and our big man sit on the other side and sign the document for this process to go on," Mr. Quaqua said.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of local authorities of Gbarpolu County, Joseph Akoi, lauded FDA and its partners for initiating the project.

He promised to ensure that the Community Forest Management project is carried out effectively in the county.

For his part, FDA's Technical Manager of Community Forest Department, Atty. Gertrude W. K. Nyaley who represented FDA's Managing Director, said the Community Management Project has been working with 70 communities to ensure they get forest status prior to the Friday's signing ceremony.

However, she said out of that figure, only three have completed their nine steps to obtaining community management status.

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