Forestry Development Authority Intensifies Efforts at ensuring Sustainable Forest Management
-Recruits several community Forestry Extension Officers-
The Forestry Development Authority with funding from the Government of Norway and support from the World Bank through the REDD+ Liberia Forest Sector Project has recruited several Community Forestry extension officers to enhance its capacity to ensure the sustainable management of Liberia’s remaining forest. The eleven newly recruited extension officers will be deployed within the four operational regions of the Forestry Development Authority and will work with the regional extension officers who are stationed at the FDA regional offices in Tubmanburg, Bomi, Voinjama, Lofa, Zwedru, Grand Gedeh, and Buchanan, Grand Bassa counties to execute community forest management related activities. The community forestry extension officers will provide technical support to rural communities for farming, marketing, business development and the formation of community organizations to pursue sustainable utilization of forest resources as well as the proper management of community forests. They will support the communities in identifying community forest user groups and serve as liaison between the communities and the regional extension officers to empower the communities to create awareness and sustainably manage the resources in their community forests. Furthermore, the extension officers will foster and support collaboration among communities and partners to enable the former engage in social and economic activities that will improve their livelihoods while at the same time work with the communities on the preparation of nurseries and woodlots as well as sustainable low land and upland development for livelihood improvement.
Speaking when he turned over the Community forestry extension officers to the Community Forestry Department, the REDD+ National Coordinator, Saa A. David jr., emphasized that the REDD+/Liberia Forest Sector project was ready to support the Forestry Development Authority in whatever way necessary to achieve its mandate such as the recruitment of the extension officers. He assured the extension officers of the REDD+ Liberia Forest Sector Project’s support to carry out their assigned duties and urged them to see themselves as working for the Forestry Development Authority. “Approach your responsibilities with utmost seriousness and cultivate a harmonious working relationship with your colleagues and supervisors” Mr. David intoned.
Receiving the extension officers, the technical manager for the Community Forestry Department at the Forestry Development Authority, Atty. Gertrude Nyaley, welcomed her new field staff and challenged them to assume their duties with a sense of purpose reminding them that the department has a huge mandate that requires hard work. She said the laws and regulations governing community forestry lie at the heart of their duty and encouraged them to familiarize themselves with the instruments to properly position themselves for the task at hand. Concluding the community forestry boss intimated that the extension officers were going to receive the community rights law and regulations as well as the project document of the REDD+ Liberia Forest Sector project to prepare them for the field work.
To date several natural resource officers, junior officers and interns have been recruited and deployed under the REDD+ Liberia Forest Sector Project to support the Forestry Development Authority in carrying out its statutory mandate of sustainable forest management.