|USAID Assures Support To Forest Sector|
|Published on April 26, 2011||Email To Friend Print Version
The Mission Director of USAID-Liberia, Patricia Rader, and a team of USAID officials paid a one day courtesy visit to Nimba on Tuesday 19 April 2011, where she was officially introduced as the new head of USAID in Liberia to the local authority of Nimba and leaders of communities where the USAID-supported Land Rights and Community Forestry Program (LRCFP) is piloting Community Forestry (CF).
Ms. Rader expressed satisfaction over the level of accomplishments made in community forestry (CF) in pilot communities of the LRCFP in Nimba.
Speaking at an elaborate ceremony marking her first official visit to Nimba, one of two counties in Liberia where LRCFP is piloting community forestry, she said her organization will continue to support the work of the project in Liberia.
Speaking in Zolowee Town at an interactive dialogue with representatives of community institutions, Miss Rader said she was impressed with the level of understanding demonstrated by community people on forest management and hoped that communities benefitting from the project's intervention will utilize the opportunity to improve their lot.
During an acquaintance meeting and lunch in Sanniquellie, the County Inspector of Nimba, Thomas Suah, spoke on behalf of the County Superintendent.
Mr. Suah underscored the significance of LRCFP intervention in the county and called on the new USAID Mission Director to continue support to the work of the project in the county. He said: “We want to thank you very much for the support you are giving to the partners that are working with our local people, and we promise that we will provide the political will to support the project in every way”.
In separate remarks, the District Commissioners of Sanniquellie Mah Gabriel Gbanlon, Gbelay-Geh, John Quato, the Paramount Chiefs of Sehyi Willie Tokpa and Yarmein, Cooper Walaka, as well as the Mayor of Sanniquellie, Mary Gonlepah highlighted the collaboration between the local authority and the LRCFP and called for USAID to extend the duration of the project period so that community people can be fully capacitated.
As part of the visit, the USAID boss and delegation toured several project sites including a cassava processing mill, a nursery for the propagation of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and a palm oil milling site where community groups are engaged in income generating activities.
LRCFP is a USAID project assisting the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and forest-based communities to jointly manage Liberia's forest lands.
Recent policy and legal reforms in Liberia's forestry sector mandate FDA to empower and assist Liberian communities to manage their forest resources sustainably. LRCFP works with FDA and other stakeholders to develop this capacity at the national, county, and community levels. The LRCFP works with Zor and Gba communities, north of Sanniquellie in Nimba County, and with Nitrian and Nimopoh communities, east of Greenville, in Sinoe County.