FDA Managing Director’s Failure to Attend Donor Conference Puts US$16.8m for Tai-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Park at Risk
MONROVIA – A decision by the Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), C. Mike Doryen, to skip a conference with donors in Cote d’Ivoire has put at risk funding of US$16.8 million which donors had agreed to give for conservation of the Tai-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Park.
One source who has worked closely with the donors on the agreement and another source who works for one of the donors confirmed that Doryen did not attend the conference. The sources asked for anonymity so they could speak freely. The conference, which ran from June 13 to June 17, was intended to present the FDA’s specific needs directly to donors, including the European Union (EU), USAID, the Swedish government, and others.
The German Agency for International Cooperation and Development had said its Tai-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Ecological Connectivity Project (TGS-FL) would intervene on behalf of the government through the FDA and would bring donors face-to-face in Cote d’Ivoire to raise the money for the Government of Liberia.
The TGS-FL provided logistical support to the FDA for four of its staff to travel, including Doryen, Jallah Johnson, acting Deputy Managing Director for Operations, Evangeline Swope-Nyantee, Protected Areas Manager, and D. Joseph Greene, Chief Park Warden for the Grebo-Krahn National Park.
In 2017, the KfW hired a German Company called AHT to do infrastructure development in the newly gazetted Grebo-Krahn National Park that cuts across Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties.
“With the US$16.8 million, EU was offering US$4.5 million, while the Swedish Government was offering US$7.8 million,” the company said in a release then.
Technicians from the FDA left Liberia on Sunday, June 12, 2022 for Cote d’Ivoire and it was expected that Doryen would join the conference on June 14, but he failed to show up and gave no notice to the organizers, FrontPageAfrica gathered.
Had he attended, Doryen would have signed as appropriate authority for the Government of Liberia, to enable donors begin processing of funds.
“Doryen, even though, was issued an air ticket with a 5-Star hotel booked for him, deliberately refused to attend the meeting, depriving Liberia of approximately US$16.8 million dollars,” one source told FrontPageAfrica.
“On the day Doryen was expected to arrive in Cote D’Ivoire, the GIZ Country Director in Cote d’Ivoire, the Director General for the Ivorian Forest Service, the TGS-FL Coordinator of projects, all went to the airport to receive him, only to find out that he didn’t come with the flight.”
“Doryen’s phone has been off since June 13, preventing all from getting in touch with him. He made no attempts to call anyone; and he refused to respond to email messages sent to him.”
FrontPageAfrica placed several phone calls to Doryen and was unsuccessful as his phone rang endlessly with no response. He did not respond to text messages sent to his phone up to press time.