In adherence and consistent with the parties’ bilateral relationship, and common commitment to the sustainable management of all types of forest in Liberia, and through its provision and legal framework in ensuring the full implementation of the VPA, the VPA-SU2 facilitated a 4-day brush-up workshop for Regions 4 and 5 in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County. The specific objectives of the brush-up include:
- Review findings from the assessment of the long-term sustainability of commercial timber harvesting conducted by the VPA-SU2.
- Refresh FDA field staff of work planning, implementation and reporting with respect to their assigned roles.
- Establish 2020/2021 technical training plans for the Regions 4 and 5.
- Introduce the Non-Compliance Registry for reporting and monitoring of non-compliances.
The brush-up workshop was held in the Cash Hall in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County from the 3rd to the 7th of May 2021. The field staff from Regions 4 and 5, 28 persons, attended the brush-up workshop: two Regional Foresters, three Contract Administrators from both regions, twelve Chain of Custody (CoC) Rangers, eight resource persons from Central Office and 3 facilitators from the VPA-SU2.
Based on the review of the 2019/2020 logging activities which took place in Buchanan on January 23rd, 2020, the brush-up workshop highlighted regional tasks and set genuine priorities for the succeeding logging season 2020 -2021. The Brush-up workshop was also intended to abreast field staff with findings from the Regions reflecting the overall performance of the level of work done in the field. New strategies were to be developed in resolving some of those field related challenges through technical training plans crafted by both Regions. Areas for capacity building needs were outlined to enhance efficiency on the job. The brush-up workshop further enlightened participants on the following:
- Presentation of the new Log scaling Guide developed by the VPA-SU2.
- Information on old and newly established National Parks
- Information on the approval checklist for the Annual Operation Plan (AOP) and a list of companies with approved AOPs.
- The establishment of the Liberia Legality Department (LLD), its roles, and responsibilities.
- Emphasis of felling operation monitoring, scaling techniques, block verification and data recording in the Tree Data Form (TDF) and Log Data Form (LDF).
- Update on pilot project on Code of Forest Management Practice (CFMP): status, challenges, and success.
The Regions 4 and 5 Brush-up Workshop was successful with the following outcomes:
- Region 4 staff assigned at the port should be incorporated into Legality Verification Department (LVD) to avoid duplication of tasks during shipment at the Greenville Port.
- Regional Foresters should participate in the approval process of the AOP.
- Improvement to be made on information dissemination from the Central Office to the Regions.
- Crafting of technical training plan for 2020/2021 logging season for both Regions.
- A resolution cataloging series of recommendations to top management of the FDA for improvement within the Commercial Forestry Department.
Written by: Zeon Whawhen