The chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Sister Mary Laurene Brown, recently called on the newly inducted officers of the Community Forestry Working Group (CFWG) not to take anything for granted as they go about in the discharge of their respective duties.
Inducting the officers into office, Sister Brown said the administration of CFWG must help propel their affairs in communities across the country.
“You now have a responsibility bigger than what you, and probably all of us here think it is,” she said. “There is no need to be complacent both on job and outside of your working environment.”
Sister Mary Laurene, who is also the president of Stella Maris Polytechnic, called on the new corps of officers to make people across the country feel the impact of the FDA by directly involving them in the protection of the country’s forests and wildlife.
“Do not be concerned about the titles associated with the jobs you have to do. Take your job seriously so that you can contribute meaningfully to the improvement of people’s lives,” she admonished them.
“Beware of the many other natural circumstances, including global warming, that also threaten the survival of our rainforests, and you must provide better education to our people through structures to let them help the preservation of our forests.
“We should be thankful to God that we are among nations in the world who have these resources, and the CFWG must work hard to break barriers existing between the FDA and the public.”
She told the inductees not to relent in doing what is right, and promised that their newly crafted terms of reference (TOR) will be submitted to the FDA Board for approval.
Responding, CFWG chairperson Madam Getrude K. Nyaley said she and her team are grateful for the opportunity to serve in such a crucial capacity and assured that they will not fail.
“We know that the tasks ahead are enormous but we will hold together as a body and serve as required of us,” Madam Nyaley said. “Even though there are competing interests, we will not let interests be limited to only few segments of this sector.”
Also speaking, former FDA Managing Director Prof. John T. Woods said he was happy with the progress the sector is making. “I am delighted that after many years since we left, young people with strong minds have taken over with new sense of direction,” he said.
He encouraged the group to have confidence in themselves, and hoped that despite challenges they can succeed.
Woods served from as FDA managing director from 1978 to 1980 and was also given the opportunity by President Sirleaf to serve in the same capacity during the early years of her first term.
For his part, current FDA Managing Director Mr. Darlington S. Tuagben said his door is open to the group to seek any advice in line with helping them succeed in the discharge of their duties.
“We are here to work with you and look forward to seeing you coming up with programs that will carry us forward,” he said.
Mr. Tuagben commended Prof. Woods for his willingness at all times to consult with the FDA and to advise whenever necessary.
“I am humble to say that you, among former MDs, and Karnwea – our recent boss, have placed your beautiful old mats before me so as to help me plait a new one,” he said to Woods.
The officers are Getrude K. Nyaley, chairperson; Jackson Nobel, secretary; Joseph Reeves, treasurer; Saye Thompson, Community Forest Management Body (CFMB) union representative; and Jarsa Okai, EPA representative.
CFWG was established in 2012 to help community members across the country take responsibility to help the forest sector survive many critical challenges, including fire disasters and the wrongful felling of trees.