MONROVIA – Liberia Conservation Works, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), conducted a six-week training on law enforcement and human rights for Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority (FDA) rangers in Sapo National Park (SNP), and East Nimba Nature Reserve (ENNR), community biomonitoring auxiliaries in SNP and community eco-guards in ENNR SNP and ENNR were chosen as locations for their training as they are both heavily threatened by increased pressure from poaching, illegal logging and mining activities, and exploitation of non-timber forest products.
The law enforcement and human rights training served to increase knowledge and build capacity of Liberia’s rangers to ensure adherence to human rights and ethical principles while executing their duties. Fauna & Flora’s Country Manager, Dr. Mary Molokwu-Odozi, emphasized that while the job of a ranger often involves conflict, it is critical that individual and community rights, culture, customs, knowledge, and livelihoods are still respected and valued. Practical aspects of the training involved self-defense, arrest and apprehension of suspects, correct search protocols, patrol formations, and more.
In SNP, the training concluded with an honoring ceremony during which Madam Elizabeth Sanwon and K. Walley Saytue were recognized for their superior performance. FDA Chief Park Warden, John G. Smith, expressed thanks on behalf of the participants for the training – the first of its kind in Sapo National Park. In ENNR, Nimba County Assistant Superintendent for Development, Hon. Railey Myers, thanked Fauna & Flora and Conservation Works partners for organizing the training and asked that they conduct more trainings to enable the rangers to do their work (more) effectively. He urged the participants to put what they had learned into practice to ensure the effective management of the ENNR.
This training is part of a series of capacity building initiatives designed to strengthen the national and regional support systems for protected and conserved areas in Liberia. The training was supported by USAID through its Conservation Works activity, a five-year program that supports conservation efforts in Liberia. Conservation Works is being implemented by EcoHealth Alliance, in partnership with Fauna & Flora, Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection, Partners in Development, and Solimar International.