ActionAid Launches Forestry Project to Empower Women

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Mrs. Moore poses with invited representatives and other ActionAid officials shortly after the project was launched

ActionAid-Liberia (AAL) in partnership with the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) and Foundation Community Initiatives (FCI) on Thursday, May 18, launched the Forestry Governance and Management Project.

The project is entitled, “Promoting Women and Community Rights in Forest Governance and Management in Liberia.”

Lakshmi S. Moore, AAL Country Director, said the project is implemented with funding from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European Union (EU).

The project, she said, is being implemented over nine months across Grand Gedeh, Gbarpolu, Margibi, Grand Bassa and Nimba counties targeting 25 communities. The aim, among other things, is to improve women’s capacity to participate in forest governance processes and also contribute to the assessment and monitoring the impact of the Liberian Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on gender relations and gender-related livelihood opportunities.

“The project is expected to go a long way in providing benefits to local women’s groups, who for long have been left out of mainstream forestry governance and management,” Mrs. Moore said.

According to her, the project is also aimed at increasing the entrepreneurship base and livelihood portfolio for women and local communities, while at the same time addressing gender disparities that have long existed and inhibited the active and meaningful participation of women in the sector.

Thursday’s launch brought together several individuals, among them, David Palacios, EU representative. Mr. Palacios is also ActionAid’s program manager for Forestry, Climate Change and Natural Resources. Others at the launch included: representatives from community-based women’s groups in the five counties where the project is being implemented; Charcoal and Chainsaw unions; and from the Ministries of Education and Gender.

AAL is a non-governmental organization that has operated in Liberia since 1997. AAL is a member of ActionAid International federation headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa with member organizations present in over 45 countries. The entity is one of the leading organizations in Liberia on women’s rights and gender equality with government and community recognition.

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