The Liberia Forest Sector Project has donated five Toyota twin-cabin pickup trucks and four Honda motorbikes to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure the sustainable management of the forest sector.
The Liberia Forest Sector Project is part of the Liberia Forest Program supported by the Government of Norway through a partnership with the Liberian government with respect to the proposed Forest Sector Investment and Technical Assistance Project.
The Liberia Forest Sector Project also seeks to support and strengthen regulatory and institutional arrangements for implementation of REDD+; strengthen management of targeted forest landscapes; forest monitoring information system; and project monitoring and management.
The vehicles and motorbikes were presented to EPA Executive Director Anyaa Vohiri by the National Coordinator of Liberia’s REDD+ project, Saah A. David Jr., at a brief ceremony on Monday, May 8, at the EPA’s head office in Monrovia.
The ceremony attracted some senior staff, including EPA Deputy Executive Director Urias Goll; Assistant Manager of EPA’s ESIA Unit, Aloysius K. Kotee; and Jerry Toe, Head of Compliance and Enforcement.
The National Coordinator of REDD+ said the donation is to help the institution to effectively monitor violations of the environment.
Mr. David lauded some staff of the institution, including EPA Executive Director Vohiri, Z. Elijah Whapoe, Manager of Planning and Policy among others, for working tirelessly to ensure that the donation was possible.
He cautioned the EPA to use the donation for the intended purpose, because the proper use of the pickups and bikes would attract more donations from the Norwegian Government.
“This is just the beginning of the process. The Liberia Forest Sector Project has a lot in store, but it depends on how we make use of the first set of donations. The EPA is one of our key project implementing entities under the Liberia Forest Sector Project, and it stands to benefit not only materials, but also human capacity development,” Mr. David assured.
He thanked Mrs. Vohiri and her deputy, Goll, for their leadership and said the Liberia Forest Sector Project would always count on them for their expertise.
Mrs. Vohiri, who received keys to the vehicles and motorbikes on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Finance Minister Boima Kamara, lauded the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the Norwegian Government for the donation.
She said the donation was timely, because it will alleviate serious transportation challenges facing EPA staff outside Montserrado County.
She warned the staff who would benefit from the donation against misusing the vehicles and motorcycles and cautioned them to use them in a responsible manner.
“This is not a gift that we can use anyhow and anywhere. EPA’s role is to make sure that this project works, and you have to put in your mind also that in whatever way you use these vehicles and motorbikes should be for the success of this project and the success of EPA and Liberia,” she said, adding that it is very important for the FDA and the EPA to work together, and is happy with the partnership between the two institutions.
According to Madam Vohiri, the EPA remains committed to the sustainable management of the forest sector, adding: “The forest sector is a major part of the environment, which is supporting our economic development.”
The EPA is co-chair on the Liberia Forest Sector Project, with Finance Minister Kamara chairman of its Board of Directors. EPA’s mandate is to protect the environment and conserve biodiversity by implementing policies that ensure the long-term economic prosperity of Liberia through sustainable, social and economic development.