Liberian forests have suffered extremely from more than 14 years of prolonged civil conflict that led to great loss of life, economic collapse, mass migration and internal displacement as well as destruction of much of the country’s infrastructure. However, since the year 2004, Liberia is reconstructing its social, political, economic and ecological environment. Forests have to play a crucial role in this period of rebuilding a functional Nation. In this post-conflict period, social, economic and political changes have created expectations that will present new challenges to a still weak forestry administration and other stakeholders in the sector. To meet these challenges and avoid problems of the past, it will require policy and strategy reforms across the forest sector, consistent with the 3C-Approach (Commercially-based, Conservation-oriented and Community-involvement), which is based on the three pillars of sustainable forest management (SFM): economic, ecological and social sustainability. International support thus is crucial to rebuild a viable forest sector that meets the expectation as a driving force for sustainable development in the country.
The project objective is to develop forest plantations and forest restoration as an effective tool for the conservation and sustainable management of the Liberia’s forest and wildlife resources, to maintain environmental quality and improve the flow of benefits to all segments of society. The project specific objectives are twofold: (1) Develop a national reforestation policy and afforestation strategy consistent with the National Forestry Reform Law; and (2) Develop knowledge, expertise and capability of the Forest Development Authority and other stakeholders to assess, monitor and plan forest plantation and forest restoration activities in the country.
The expected project outputs are as follows:
? All existing forestry plantations are assessed and timber volume and qualitative data per area interpreted;
? Suitable sites for reforestation and afforestation, as well as forest restoration identified;
? The potential of CDM A/R and forest restoration in REDD assessed;
? A draft policy for enrichment planting and reforestation activities to be applied in areas of Timber Sales Contracts and Forest Management Contracts developed;
? Preliminary results of assessments, policies and strategies, widely consulted with forest stakeholders;
? Draft reforestation policy and an afforestation strategy based on the results of Outputs 1.1. ? 1.5 elaborated;
? A core team of technicians has been trained in the assessment and implementation of reforestation and afforestation;
? A series of technical workshops has been conducted to train FDA staff and stakeholders from NGOs and private sector in forest restoration, reforestation and afforestation; and
? Community dwellers and local NGOs involved in the development of community forestry have been trained in practical aspects in forest restoration, afforestation and agroforestry.