ActionAid Liberia has launched a nine-month project to promote the rights of women and communities in forest governance and management.
The project was recently launched in Polar Town as one of the agency-selected project-communities in Grand Gedeh County.
James Pewee, ActionAid-Liberia local rights program manager, said the project is aimed at promoting and increasing women’s participation in forest governance in evidence-based documentation demonstrating the need for inclusion in the sector.
Mr. Pewee added that the program also seeks to increase women’s confidence, knowledge and economic independence in order to claim and exercise their rights in the voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) to increase momentum for gender-sensitive forest governance and management.
The VPA is a legally binding trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and a timber-producing country outside the EU. The purpose is to en¬sure that timber and timber products exported to the EU comes from legal sources.
Mr. Pewee said because of that agreement, the project will be implemented in 10 selected communities of Nimba, Margibi, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, and Grand Gedeh counties with the support of Sustainable Development Institute and Foundation of Community Initiative, while the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) provides the funding.
Meanwhile, Grand Gedeh County rural women president Madam Jesedeh Barzon thanked ActionAid and partners for the project.
Madam Barzon called on her colleagues not to sit back, but to rather put on their action jackets to compete with the men in the decision-making process to maintain the forests.
Community dwellers thanked ActionAid and promised to work together to achieve the goal of the project.