The VPA Support Unit2 (VPA-SU2) facilitated a 2-day regional interagency workshop following the way forward proffered to improve coordination and implementation of field inspection during the central inter agency workshop held in Monrovia on the 19th – 20th January 2021. A follow-up workshop for field staff from Region 2 brought together the three inspectorate institutions comprising the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Labor (MoL) at Den-L training facility in Gbarnga from 10th to 11th August 2021.
The workshop had the main purpose of introducing the revised Code of Forest Harvesting Practices inspection checklist and the Non-Compliance Register forms per institution for reporting non compliances to the field staff. The specific objectives were as follow:
- To introduce the 2017 Code of Forest Harvesting Practices to EPA and MoL newly assigned regional field staff;
- To acquaint FDA, EPA and MoL regional field staff with their requisite revised inspection checklist for assessing companies’ compliance of their respective parameters within the CFHP;
- To train the three inspectorate institutions’ field staff on the appropriate usage of the Non-Compliance Register form used to report companies’ non compliances; and
- To discuss 2020/2021 inspection implementation plans for the Region
The interagency workshop participants included three key resource persons from the Central Offices of the three institutions: Manager for Compliance and Enforcement from the EPA, Director for Regional Labor Affairs from the MoL and Manager for Environmental Impact Assessment from the FDA. The regional participants included two commissioners and two field inspectors representing MoL in Margibi and Lofa Counties; two county heads and two field inspectors representing EPA in Margibi and Lofa Counties. FDA was represented by its Regional Forester and Contract Administrator. The VPA-SU2 was represented by two Junior Forestry Experts.
The following were the workshop outcomes:
- Workshop participants’ understanding of the 2017 Code of Forest Harvesting Practices (CFHP) was refreshed;
- The three inspectorate field staff gained knowledge on how to distinctly use their requisite revised inspection checklist for assessing companies’ compliance of the CFHP;
- Field staff gained knowledge on how to identify, categorize and precisely record non-compliances in the Non-Compliance Registry for reporting purposes; and
- 2020/2021 The inspection implementation schedule 2020/2021 for the region was established.
Written by Sayon Fofana