Liberia: Forestry Development Agency Gets EURO 3.4M from EU to Support Voluntary Partnership Agreement
MONROVIA – The European Union (EU) has provided EURO 3.5 to the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) through the government of Liberia in support of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), a trade arrangement that has existed between the two parties since 2013. This gesture, representing the EU’s support to the forestry sector is a long-term Technical Assistance aimed at implementing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement / Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (VPA – FLEGT).
EU Ambassador to Liberia Hélène Cavé made the disclosure Tuesday August 20, 2019 in Monrovia during program marking the official launch of Phase II of the agreement which has a lifespan of three years. She said basically this technical assistance will support the Forestry Development Authority as lead agency as well as other actors in the forestry sector including the Liberia Implementation Committee, the National Multi Stakeholder Monitoring Committee, the VPA Secretariat, amongst others. According to her, the EU’s commitment towards that goal remains the same after more than five years of working hand in hand with the government of Liberia.
“The process has significantly improved and progress have been attained; however we still have to go further before issuing FLEGT licenses,” she emphasized. She continued, “Today we are presenting a competent Technical team, with experts in different aspects of the VPA related topics-forestry management, civil society and community forestry, chain of custody provides the necessary credibility of Liberian timber exports. “Let me remind you that Liberia is blessed” Liberia is blessed with magnificent and unique rain forests. If you look around in the West African region, the biggest patches of remaining forests are here, in Liberia. But they won’t be here forever if we do not take care of them.” WE from the EU are strongly committed to support Liberia and its forests. We are stepping up our actions to protect the existing forests, to manage forests sustainably as well as actively and sustainably create new coverage,” she concluded. Speaking also exhaustively at the launch which brought together an array of government officials, FDA Managing Director C. Mike Doryen praised the EU for what he called a defined gesture that will certainly go a long way in promoting the sustainable management of the Liberian forest. He used the occasion to outline achievements made by his management team since it was appointed by President George Manneh Weah. He said he is proud that his administration has been able to comply and cooperate with ‘our development partners’ thereby been able to experience some marked achievements. He promised to work assiduously with the EU and other partners aimed at raising FDA and the forest sector to a remarkable standard. He hoped the path being carved and implemented would continue to practically bear desired fruits for the benefit of the nation at large. He named some of the development initiatives being fostered by his administration as the construction of a USD292.00 modern regional complex under construction in Buchannan, Grand Bassa County, while grand breaking ceremony for similar complex is die soon in Tubmanburg, Bomi County. He disclosed that his administration has embarked on rigorous human resource development project aimed at building the capacity of the staff especially at a time when proficiency and efficiency has become the hallmark of the day.