The Liberian Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has assured logging communities that the government will ensure that their rights and interests are fully protected.
He said in order to encourage community dwellers to conserve the forests from which they earn their living, they need to be guaranteed other means of livelihood.
Vice President Boakai said this includes measures that will ensure that land rental and administration fees are disbursed appropriately to duly certified community and county entitlements.
Vice President Boakai’s assurance was contained in his keynote address at the installation program of the new corps of officers of the Liberia Timber Association in Sinkor, according to a press release from the Vice President’s Office.
He pointed out that government is fully aware of its obligation as a signatory to international instruments, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.
But he appealed to international partners to step up efforts aimed at emboldening the capacities of citizens to be comfortable on board with forest protection measures.
He said key movers of this sector of the country’s governance system should be true partners and positive contributors to the efforts of the government, adding, “This will help us in constructing a system that will be as equitable and profitable to all concerned.”
Liberia currently occupies 43 percent of the remaining Upper Guinea Forest of which 42 percent is rainforest.
The land mass of Liberia’s forest is 5.7 million hectares, 45 percent of the 9.58 million hectares of the total land area of the country.
Conservation, preservation area is about 1.5 million hectares, and multiple use forest area is 4.0 million or 70 percent of the total area of Liberia.
Biodiversity contents of Liberia’s forest include 590 species of birds, 125 species of mammals, 1,000 species of insects, 2,000 species of flowering plants, 59 of which are endemic to Liberia’s 240 timber species, 60 of which have been exported, the release concluded.