The Team Leader of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement-Support Unit (VPA-SU) of the Forestry Development (FDA), John Casey, has underscored that media play an important role in the implementation of the VPA in Liberia.
The VPA is an agreement signed between the Liberian Government and the European Union aimed at stopping illegal logging in the country. It also allows legally acquired timbers to leave Liberia for Europe and others parts of the world. The agreement came into force on December 1, 2013.
Mr. Casey made the statement recently at a brief ceremony marking the end of a five-day training seminar of Public Communications and Outreach Commitments hosted in Monrovia. The five-day training seminar was held from June 16 to June 20, 2014.
According to him, the Liberian media have a critical role to play if the VPA must succeed, because they must inform the people about the importance of the VPA and its benefits to them.
Considering the important role of the media in this endeavor, his institution had decided to train a number of selected journalists to know what the VPA is all about, and its benefits to the country.
He noted that journalists need to be trained in that direction to disseminate the right information about the VPA.
Mr. Casey then commended the 13 participants for availing themselves to be trained by the two VPA facilitators.
Responding on behalf of the participants, John Charleson expressed gratitude to the facilitators, Karen Boothe and Dixon Gblah for introducing a new method of training through manual.
Mr. Charleson and his colleagues believe that the new methold will help the FDA Communication Department to effectively relate to the public in a new approach.
Each of the participants was given a certificate for successfully completing the requirements for FDA Strategic Communications and Public Outreach Training.
FDA Managing Director, Harrison S. Karnwea, Sr., who formally opened the workshop, extended the entity’s gratitude to its partner, the VPASU for the level of support it continues to render.
Mr. Karnwea acknowledged that his entity embraces all efforts by partners to improve the sector to sustainably manage the forest.
He said the 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 staff and other departments engaged in outreach and education.
“The exercise has therefore strengthened the FDA in building its internal capacity to better serve the public’s information need,” Mr. Karnwea said.