The Management of the Forestry Development (FDA) has embraced efforts by its partners, particularly the Voluntary Partnership Agreement Support Unit (VPASU) for their intervention to improve the sector thereby sustainably managing the forest.
FDA Managing Director, Harrison S. Karnwea, Sr., gave the commendation yesterday in Monrovia when he formally announced a five-day initial opening of the Public Communications and Outreach Commitments and training workshop.
“The FDA extends gratitude to its partner, the VPASU for the level of support it continues to render, and it embraces all efforts by them to improve the sector sustainably manage the forest,” Mr. Karnwea emphasized.
According to him, the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), though focuses on ensuring the improvement of Forest Governance, it is also engaged in strengthening the FDA’s internal capacity, particularly, the Public Relations Department and staff in other departments who engage in public outreach and education.
The exercise is to strengthen the FDA internal capacity to better serve the public’s information needs.
It is an important step forward in ensuring that the public understands and supports the management’s efforts. It is based on this that the FDA commenced a ‘robust skills development program’ for its newly branded communication department.
The VPA is a bilateral agreement between the Liberian Government (GOL) and the European Union (EU) which was signed and ratified by Liberia on December 1, 2013.
To have a transparent and legal Forest Management System, the GOL through the FDA negotiated a VPA with the EU in 2006, and it took effect in December last year.
This process has since been participatory by Liberian Government officials, CSOs, Media, and representatives of communities nationwide. The process is to transform the lives of people, their affected communities, etc.
Importantly, the VPA addresses the problem of ‘illegal logging activities; promotes sustainable forest management; guarantee timber products access to European markets, and ensures legal logging activities in the country.’
The five-day training workshop which began yesterday is supported by the VPASU and funded by the British Government through the Department for International Development (DFID) and the EU. It is expected to end on Friday, June 20.
“FDA knows it has to increase the communication and public outreach to the general public who largely do not know,” Mr. Karnwea said.
According to Mr. Karnwea, the FDA is also determined to strengthen and rebuild its relationship with the public including the civil society organizations (CSOs) as the valuable partners as well as the private sector and other government ministries and agencies that are largely the beneficiaries of the forest.
While the five-day training workshop intends to build the capacity of the Public Relations Department and other staff at the FDA, the entity demonstrates its commitment at the same time to improving her public communications and outreach strategies.