By Solo Uriah Lewis in Zwedru
Action Aid- Liberia, an international non-government organization, has ended a five-day training of trainers’ workshop for 10 community women groups, representing five counties, including Grand Gedeh, Grand Bassa, Gbarpolu, Margibi, and Nimba.
The training with the title, “Legal Forestry Regulations Workshop” was held under the theme “Promoting Women and Community Rights in Forest Governance and Management,” with the objectives to enhance the capacity and participation of women in forest governance and management for inclusive and participatory stakeholder process, thereby bringing change to the current development landscape on women. It will also bring forth the rights of forest communities, and improve forest governance and management.
According to the local program manager of Action Aid Liberia, (AAL) Mr. James Pewee, the project’s aim is to improve the capacity of women to meaningfully participate in forest governance processes and contribute to the assessment and monitoring of the Liberian Volunteer Partnership Agreement impacts on gender relations and gender-related livelihoods in the country.
He said the project has drawn on learning from AAL’s program and project reviews, consultations, market analysis and external research, which highlight the urgent need to address promoting women and community rights in forest governance and management in Liberia.
Mr. Pewee outlined the expected outcomes as the methodologies for conducting baseline research, social audits, in developing and agreed with the IMMSWG and other relevant stakeholders’ gender baseline research produced in support of the Liberian Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) Impact Monitoring system.
He said the idea is based on the recommendations from EU Forest Law Engagement Government Trade ( FLEGT) facility and the Impact Monitoring Multi-Stakeholder Working Group (IMMSWG) regarding the availability and use of hard-data on gender relations and gender-related income opportunities in investigating in the charcoal, chainsaw milling, and other sustainable and value chains in forest/farming activities in Liberia.
He said the social audits conducted to feed into the livelihoods study of the Liberian Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) impact monitoring framework is the better understanding of forest governance and gender relations acquired, through a comparative multi-country research in at least three countries, including Liberia, Ghana and Vietnam monitoring, evaluation, and visibility framework.
The 10 communities representing the five counties include; Bold Dollar, Barconnie, Weamah, Tumuquelle, Trokon-ta, Larkay-ta, Beatuo, Kanwea, Chensla, and Polar.
Patricia Beh of the Polar, Podetadue Women in Grand Gedeh lauded Action Aid and promised to work together to achieve the goal of the project in sharing the knowledge gathered with other women groups in the communities and the districts and the county at large.