Community Forestry Working Group (CFWG) is conducting a four-day Stock-Taking Retreat for more than 20 of its members in Margibi County under the theme “Reviving The CFWG to Strengthen Public Participation In Community Forestry Matters In Liberia”.
The Chairperson of CFWG, Gertrude WK Nyaley giving an overview of the retreat at the Kakata Kountry Klub in Kakata on Thursday, October 25, 2018, said the event is organized to reassess the Community Forestry Working Group.
According to her, six months ago the Community Forestry Working Group reached a decision to plan and host a forum that will allow institutional members of the group as well as partners and stakeholders of the forestry sector to dialogue, exchange views to disagree and agree all in the hope of reviving the group and strengthening its mandate so it could make stronger the important issues critical to policy affecting Community Forestry in Liberia.
“If you may recall, most of our meetings have been limited in resolving critical matters either emanating from the Community or pertaining to effective implementation of the law, either our debate ended in deadlock based on assumption that we have no control over the issue because it is stipulated by the CRL or its regulation” she explained.
Madam Nyaley disclosed that at some point during their engagement at meeting, they have demonstrated the will to help the process, but the resource constraint has been a challenge for them.
According to her, the retreat is structure around most of the issue they have struggled to address in their regular meetings. She revealed that the retreat is also designed to stimulate discussion around extreme resource constraint which has been the major barrier that has undermined their plan to reach out to forest-dependent Communities that need their support the most.
Gertrude WK Nyaley indicated that their engagement at the retreat is covering a wide range of issues including but not limited to their challenges and accomplishments, their role in key policy decision affecting Communities and their forest resource, how effective the group can be with respect to its alignment to the Forestry Development Authority and going independent and if it will better the Country, the group will step aside.
She narrated the group’s position as a major or minor of the society through which transparency and accountability must be part of its core value. The CFWG Chairperson stated that their position on the most recent report released by Global Witness on Community Forestry is how they can address or discuss recommend solutions.
She at the same time challenged her colleagues to take advantage of the opportunity to constructively engaged by putting forth all of the issues that have hindered their progress.
Madam Nyaley, therefore, thanked officials and members of the Group as well as other partners including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for their support.