-British Amb. Belgrove Assures
From all indications, Liberia’s forest rangers under the banner of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) may sooner see the fruits of the long awaited dream and all other related aid, as the British Royal Marine is to shortly train the rangers to better prepare them to provide maximum security protection for the country’s forest, an FDA release has said.
According to the release, the exercise is to ensure its true and realistic sustainability.
The British Ambassador accredited Liberia, David Belgrove, made the disclosure during a meeting with FDA Managing Director, C. Mike Doyern on Tuesday, October 30, at his Whein Town office in Benard Farm, Paynesville.
Amb. Belgrove promised his government’s preparedness to provide training opportunity for the forest rangers to enhance their capacities in adequately countering any and all forms of vices that are inimical to the growth and survival of the forest and all of its constituent elements.
In his statement of appreciation, Mr. Doyern said the FDA family and the entire Liberian forest sector are happy in that their long awaited dream to equip the forest rangers to cope with the prevailing challenges is coming to fruition, especially at a time when President George Weah continues to attach premium to the culture of conservation.
Doyern then proudly recounted the numerous support from the British Government through the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), something he said has added value to the logs from Liberia destined for the European Union (EU) market, and promised Liberia’s continued cooperation with the British Government as it strives to establish a firm platform of conservation in the forest sector.
The VPA is a bilateral timber-trade agreement between the EU and a timber-exporting country outside the EU, but it is a key element of the EU FLEGT Action Plan, which aims to address illegal logging.
Mr. Doyern used the occasion to inform the Amb. Belgrove of a number of substantive steps being taken by his administration to ensure that the doctrine of sustainable forest management continues unhindered.
Additionally, he said a moratorium has been placed on new applications for community forest status until those already on file are processed.
He also called on conservation partners working in the forest sector to devise means that will make the conservation efforts much more sustainable by meeting the basic needs of the community dwellers, especially forest dependents in terms of better roads, clinics, schools among other things.