Monrovia – The Government of Liberia, through the National Bureau of Concession and Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with its international development partners, launched a program titled “Partnership for Forest-0837 Multi-Stakeholders Sustainable Development Concession Platform for Liberia” on Friday, November 10, 2023, aiming to enable Liberians to derive maximum benefits from the country’s resources and agricultural endowment.
By Victoria G. Wesseh
Hon. Jeanine M. Cooper, Liberia’s Agriculture Minister, launched the program on behalf of the government, expressing her delight and anticipation of positive project outcomes. She mentioned that the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for overseeing community support and all concession agreements but has faced challenges in initiating the process due to existing inefficiencies.
“The study to establish the capacity of the communities is highly anticipated, and I look forward to positive outcomes from this project,” stated Madam Cooper.
In a welcome statement at the launch, Atty. Edwin N. Dennis, Director General of the National Bureau of Concession (NBC), explained that the NBC is tasked with ensuring peace and harmony between concession companies and their communities. He highlighted that conflicts often arise due to livelihood issues, emphasizing the importance of finding alternative livelihoods for affected communities.
Mr. Dennis shared insights from a visit to Ghana last year, where they observed successful collaboration between communities and concession companies, leading to the provision of alternative livelihoods.
Raymond Kofi Sayki, the West and Central Africa Partnership for Forest (P4F Ghana) Regional Manager, emphasized the necessity of meaningful discussions between Liberia, concession communities, and companies. He warned that without such discussions, Liberia might not be taken seriously, underscoring the importance of building the capacity of concession-affected communities.
Mohammed S. Jallibeh, a beneficiary in Grand Cape Mount County, thanked the government and its development partners for the project. He expressed confidence that the project would be well-received in the communities and anticipated that the knowledge gained would not only benefit Grand Cape Mount but also be transferred to the other fourteen counties in the country.
Background: The one-day launch and inception meeting of the project, “P4F 0837 Multi-Stakeholders Sustainable Development Concession Platform, Liberia,” conducted by the National Bureau of Concessions (NBC), aims to strengthen and facilitate greater engagement with Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) in Grand Cape Mount County. This involves forming their governance structure, constitution, and by-laws while outlining their strategic plans. Additionally, the project seeks to build capacity and familiarize platform community members with issues related to deforestation, landscape governance, and explore sustainable partnerships for oil palm Out-grower schemes. The NBC is working closely with VOSIEDA, a Liberian civil society organization, with funding support from Partnerships for Forests (P4F) to implement this project.