Finding a way forward for community mapping and flagging
The Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL), the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), and the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) held a one-day High-level National Stakeholders Engagement Road Map Development for Kpo and Foya Gazettement Packages Preparation. The high-level meeting, which took place at one of Liberia’s finest resorts, Libassa Ecolodge, Marshall, lower Margibi County, was marked by presentations, discussions, and action planning.
Michael F. Garbo, Executive Director, SCNL, welcomed the guests and co-facilitated the meeting. He said the gathering of stakeholders was very important for the next phase of the implementation of the Kpo and Foya Project. “We’ve gathered here today to discuss Kpo and Foya; where we are, where are we going, and the way forward. SCNL has gone far with community engagements, but that is not all, we are here to also discuss the mapping and flagging, the signing of a letter of consent that will contribute to the preparation of the gazettement packages”.
He then shared that even though FDA gave SCNL the project to implement, but encourages them as well as the MME, EPA, and LLA to continuously provide support to SCNL for a successful implementation of the project. Mr. Garbo reminded the stakeholders that despite the short time given to SCNL for the implementation of the project, SCNL is ready and equipped as always to work for a successful implementation of the Kpo and Foya Project. “All we need is to get the blessing from FDA, and guardians from other stakeholders to move forward,” he added.
Jerry Garteh, SCNL Project Coordinator, presented updates on Kpo and Foya including the next steps. Jallah Johnson, FDA Deputy Protected Areas Manager, presented the steps leading to the establishment of protected areas. Blamah S. Goll, FDA Technical Manager, Forest Research Development, presented on participatory land use mapping (Plum) and flagging, and Tom W. Korkpor, LLA Assistant Director, Land Use and Management, presented on the role and support of LLA in Kpo and Foya. Johnson Willabo, Assistant Minister/MME, presented on the role and support of MME in Kpo and Foya, and Nick Goll, II, EPA Safeguards Coordinator, presented on the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) Process.
Key actions emanating from the program included a scheduled planning meeting for the PLUM field mission on August 30, 2022, at the SCNL office, FDA to share shape files for Kpo and Foya with key stakeholders before the field mission and FDA to lead the upcoming participatory land use mapping in early September 2022.
Joseph J. Tally, Deputy Managing Director, FDA, in closing remarks appreciated partners, and colleagues from other line ministries and agencies, working in the environmental or forest sector for their active participation in the all-important meeting. “Kpo and Foya Project is a task meant for us to achieve our 30% conservation program. We believe the time given for the project implementation is limited, but with a collective effort, we can achieve it. As we depart, let’s depart with the mindset that there are tasks before us, and let’s ensure the declaration of the Kpo and Foya Areas is done within the framework,” he concluded.