With support from the European Union (EU), Tropenbos International, and other local partners, Liberia Forest Media Watch (LFMW) on Friday, December 31, 2021, concluded a one-day media forum with editors and senior reporters of some media houses in Monrovia.
The Forum was aimed at strengthening LFMW’s relationship with local media colleagues as the organization alongside partners implements a fifteen months EU project titled: “Strengthening the Capacity of CSOs to Implement FLEGT-VPA.”
LFMW is a civil society media support advocacy institution that works to promote sustainable management of the forest and other natural resources of Liberia – a platform of investigative media practitioners raising awareness on forest-related developments with some emphasis on the implementation of the EU-Liberia Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) meant to promote Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) among EU countries and Liberia.
Giving the overview and progress of the EU project, LFMW’s National Coordinator Moses R. Quollin said “the EUD project, which started April 2021 and expected to end June 2022, targets six authorized forest communities in five counties including Lofa, Grand Bassa, Sinoe, Margibi and Rivercess Counties.” He named Salayea, Blueyeama, Zuzon, Tarsue, Bean Poley, Zialue & Teekpeh as beneficiary communities.
According to Journalist Quollin, the outcome is to improve the capacities and ownership of the targeted stakeholders to implement the commitments of the VPA — focusing on strengthening the capacity of selected CSOs and Communities.
Outlining several challenges facing the forestry sector, Moses said his institution has documented and reported on several issues – gender, lawsuit, conflict, and protest from communities about arrears owed them, capacity challenges in local communities, lack safe drinking water, non-compliance, illegal logging, corruptions, etc.
He also frowned on what is considered as the slow pace of responses on the part of stakeholders to take prompt action to avert or address some of the challenges which he believes can be curtained, if the appropriate authorities like FDA and others institute necessary and quicker actions.
Meanwhile, LFMW is calling for a quick convening of the EU-Liberia VPA’s Joint Implementation Committee. At the JIC, he said progress and challenges are usually reviewed in line with the FLEGT Action Plan as well as the government’s response mechanism.
Reported by: Taisiah K.Merfee
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