Non-governmental Organization (NGO) Coalition on Friday, December 14, 2018, honored several individuals and institutions for their outstanding performances and contributions to forest governance and leadership in the country.
The award categories include, Best Human Rights Award, Leadership Award, Forest and Environmental Media Award, Gender Award, International Advocacy Award and Governance and Reform Award.
The ceremony was held at a resort in Sinkor, Monrovia. The December 14 award program, according to the organizers, is the first of its kind since the establishment of the NGO Coalition 15 years ago.
Cllr. T. Negbalee Wanner, Dean of Louis Arthur Grimes School, and Attorney Samuel Kofi Woods of the Liberian Law Society, received the “Best Human Rights Award–2018, while the state-run Broadcasting Corporation (ELBC) and the independent Daily Observer newspaper, also received the “Forest and Environmental Media Award, respectively.
Other institutions were the Sustainable Development Initiative, Save My Future Foundation, Green Advocates, and Harrison S. Karnwea, received the Forest Governance and Reform Award.
Mr. Karnwea is the chairman of the Board of Directors, Forestry Development Authority. The NGO Coalition of Liberia is the premier body of organizations working within the natural resource governance sector of Liberia.
It is a broad-based advocate and professional disciplined mother organization of over 20 civil society organizations working to promote forest governance’s principles and applications in oil palm, REDD+, Land rights as well as the VPA-FLEGT processes in Liberia.
Among other things, the Coalition strengthens the voices and influence of forest communities in enhancing natural resource governance in Liberia. It is credited for creating a media advocacy campaign on the proliferation and systematic abuse of Private Use Permits (PUPs), a campaign that contributed to government’s decision to place moratorium on logging activities under PUP, and subsequently led to the closure of the PUP.
The advocacy history of the NGO Coalition dates back in 2003 when it campaigned for the inclusion of natural resource and human rights issues on the agenda of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Friday’s Award was part of a campaign to encourage other decision makers to join hands with the Coalition to push for transparency and accountability in forest governance with the aims to protect communities’ benefits and rights under the Social Agreements (SA).