FDA Launches “Rethinking Liberia’s Forest” Today

The Forestry Development Authority is launching on October 6th& 7th a two day conference “Rethinking Liberia’s Forests: Implementing the New Vision”. This conference will be launched by H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and will be attended by community forest managers,government officials, and international experts on forest issues from throughout Liberia,

The purpose of the conference is to celebrate and examine the work that the FDA and Liberian Government have undertaken to reform country’s forestry sector. Liberia has made great strides to develop and enforce new forest laws, and in September 2014 signed a landmark US$ 150 million agreement with Norway to solidify these reforms. Today’s conference will seize the opportunity presented by this agreement, to make sure it results in lasting, positive change for Liberia’s forests, the communities that depend on them, and the wider economy.

The conference will explore a holistic assessment of Liberia’s forest resources and its implications for communities, land tenure, and forest management. Discussions will include concrete examples from Liberia as well as lessons learned from other countries with a view to considering how Liberia and its people can benefit from different forms of forest management.

President Johnson Sirleaf will provide opening remarks to launch the conference. Also speaking will be FDA Deputy Director DaringtonTuagaben, the REDD+ Manager Saah David and Community Forestry Manager Gertrude Nyaley. Land Commission Chairman Dr. Cecil Brandy, community members from across Liberia, US Ambassador Deborah Malac, EU Ambassador Tina Intelmann, Ingrid Buli of the Embassy of Norway, Rights and Resources Initiative Coordinator Andy White, and international expertsfromtwelve countries will also provide presentations.

The conference will be action-oriented, developing a shared vision for Liberia’s forests and people, practical suggestions on implementing different approaches, stronger relationships between actors to collaborate on knowledge, expertise, experience and funding, and the supporting role Liberia seeks from international initiatives.

To organize this event, the FDA is working with a range of partners, including the Land Commission, the NGO Coalition of Liberia, USAID, Global Witness, and Rights and Resources Initiative.

The FDA envisioned at the end of the conference Liberia willrethink the future of its forests in terms of implementing the “New Vision” pursuance to conservation but also towards sustainable harvest and best forest management practices.