River Gee County Senator Fredrick Cherue
Lawmaker Urges Funding To Preserve Liberia’s Forests
By Calvin Brooks
MONROVIA, April 7 (LINA) -The Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, River Gee County Senator Fredrick Cherue wants the international community to provide adequate funding to Liberia to help preserve its forest.
Senator Cherue said the preservation of Liberia’s forest for global benefit is good, but emphasized that money should be provided Liberians who depend on the forest for their livelihood, if the international community wants the forests preserved.
The River Gee County lawmaker made the statement on Friday at the launch of the 2nd Annual Outreach Campaign on Community Forestry in Monrovia.
He indicated that the 52nd National Legislature decided to enact a law to allow the community to take ownership of their forest, but that the process was frustrated by some civil society groups and investors, thus undermining the purpose of the community ownership.
He urged the international community to also engage community dwellers in the various communities across the country to educate them on the significance of preserving their forest and the benefits it has for the nation and the world at-large.
In remarks, the European Union head of delegation in Liberia, Ambassador Attilio Pacifici observed that Liberia is the home to over half of West Africa’s remaining rainforest, with almost 45 percent of the country covered by forest.
Pacifici noted that the proposed Land Rights Policy seeks to recognize customary land ownership and it is clear that community forestry will play an important role in the future management of Liberia’s forest resources.
He explained that the legal framework for community forestry provides strong social and economic safeguards for the communities with whom the community forestry management agreements are signed.
Ambassador Pacifici observed that corruption and fraud deprive government and the people of the means to develop, and that those who defraud government are not just stealing government’s money but taking money from the wallets of Liberian citizens and people of friendly countries who are trying to help Liberia develop.
He pointed out that the enforcement of the Community Rights Law should be fundamental and that community rights agreement should be respected by all parties involved with forest use and management.