The National Forestry Policy and Implementation Strategy is Liberia’s sectoral policy and strategy for the forestry sector for the period 2006-2016. It focuses on maximizing the benefits of the forestry sector for the Liberian society, with a special emphasis on the contribution of the sector to poverty alleviation. It seeks to balance and integrate the commercial, community and conservation uses of Liberia’s forests, so that they can continue to produce vital environmental goods and services, as well as support the economic development of the country.The Government of Liberia, through the Policy and Strategy, will seek to contribute to poverty alleviation and increased food security by increasing the opportunities for forest-based income generating activities.The Government of Liberia will seek to ensure that commercial forestry, community forestry and forest conservation activities are integrated and balanced to optimize the economic, social and environmental benefits from the forest resource; to conserve forest ecosystems so that important environmental functions are maintained; to ensure that activities in the forestry sector are based on sound scientific and technical principles; to develop and implement a set of rules and procedures for forest management in concessions; and develop and implement a national reforestation programme.The Government of Liberia will seek to maximize the contribution of the forestry sector to income, employment and trade through the development of appropriate processing activities; to establish a framework for community forest management; to empower local communities; to provide extension and technical assistance in community forest management; to locate and practice community forestry on communal land; and to design and implement programmes to support income generating activities in rural communities as an alternative to commercial hunting. In addition, it will seek to encourage rural extension services to promote the use of wood energy and non-wood forest products as an alternative livelihood for rural communities and the adoption of improved technology in the production and utilization of wood energy; to increase community participation in wildlife management in all forest areas and; to strengthen and improve alternative livelihood opportunities to reduce rural dependence on forests and wildlife; to provide technical and financial support to local communities for the management of wetlands and mangroves; and to encourage private sector investment in community-based ecotourism and nature tourism.The Government of Liberia, through the Policy and Strategy, will seek to grant more equitable access to forest resources so that the potential for future conflict is reduced and the benefits from forestry development are shared throughout Liberian society. In addition, it will seek to develop and implement an effective production monitoring system, a mechanism to share the benefits from forest concession activities between the government, private sector and local communities, and procedures for awarding concessions or licences to local communities and local, small-scale enterprises. Lastly, it will also encourage the production of diversified wood products. In addition, it will seek to develop appropriate mechanisms and incentives to encourage involvement of the private sector and local communities in reforestation; ensure access to export markets; promote training programmes; as well as to enforce the ban on hunting of all protected wildlife species; and design and launch a national awareness campaign about bushmeat and hunting issues. The Policy and Strategy will also seek to increase public awareness of forest conservation issues; and to improve co-operation with neighbouring countries to address transboundary conservation issues. Importantly, they will also seek to update the skills of all stakeholders to raise forest management to an international standard, through professional and on-the-job training; and to assess the needs for research to support forest management.The Policy and Strategy will be implemented by the Government, non-governmental and community-based organizations so that Liberia’s forests can contribute to the welfare of every Liberian citizen. In particular, the Government will seek to ensure that all stakeholders participate in the formulation of forestry policies and in the conservation and management of the forest resources. Notably, the Government will introduce sound financial management, improve transparency and accountability, raise the level of performance of Forestry Development Authority staff, improve public participation, and increase efficiency by decentralizing decision making and delegating authority. Lastly, the government will review and, where necessary, update existing forest legislation; strengthen forest law enforcement, through training and adequate funding and stricter penalties for illegal activities; and develop and introduce a process for public consultation, adjudication of disputes and public reporting of forest law compliance.
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