FDA, HSI widen Wildlife Protection Mechanism

-train 30 law enforcers in Sanniquellie

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A two-day intensive training workshop which aimed to sharpen the skills of wildlife law enforcers and thereby enhance effectiveness and efficiency in combating wildlife trafficking and bush meat trade has ended in Sanniquellie, Nimba County. At least 35 participants including staff from East Nimba Nature Reserve (ENNR), migistrates, checkpoint staff, and community management committee got training in several key topics including Evidence Collection and Report Writing, Liberia’s Justice’s Community Role in Combatting Wildlife Crimes, Introduction to National Wildlife Conservation and Protected Area Law, Case Preparation Advice, Protected Species of Liberia and IUCN Redlist. Other salient topics addressed at the workshop included Introduction to Law Enforcement Sub Committee, Wildlife Crime Task Force and Consfication Unit & Transboundary Law Enforcement Technical Working Group, Establishment if Regional Network and Information Sharing Platform, amongst many others.

The workshop which began from 9-10 November, 2022 was funded by the Humune Society International (HSI) with technical support from the Forestry Development Authority (FDA). Humane Society International (HSI) works around the globe to promote the human-animal bond and confront cruelty in all its forms. It’s one of the few animal protection organizations that work for the protection of all animals. HSI Liberia has been working with the FDA and other conservation organizations on the protection of wildlife in Liberia for some years.

Providing an overview of the workshop earlier, the Country Director of Humane Society International Liberia (HSI), Mr. Morris Darbo elaborated on the role of his organization as it relates to the protection and conservation of wildlife and other species that are important to the ecosystem.

Mr. Darbo said his organization remains supportive to the conservation initiatives being carried out by FDA and partners as enshrined in the 2006 National Forestry Reform law which calls for the maximum protection of the forest and all its constituent members. He then called on the participants to avail their patience and commitment to the lessons learned from the workshop and practically apply them for the good of the country. He further said HSI is interested in seeing more prosecutions through the applications of the wildlife law in order to limit, if not totally abolish, the growing wave of illegal activities in the forest sector which ungrossly undermine national conservation efforts.

For his part, the Wildlife Manager at the FDA, Abenego Gbarway reminded the participants to be robost in the execution of the law governing Wildlife. Mr. Gbarway said the preservation and protection of wildelife is the most critical thing any society can do in the wake of the international protocols to which Liberia is signitroy, something he said should be adhered to systematically.

In his welcome remarks, the County Inspector for Nimba County, Mark Gbliwon appreciated the organizers of the work on behalf of government and promised local government’s cooperation with the HSI and FDA teams as they execute their duties at all times.

Meanwhile, the participants have recommended, among several others, the establishment of Wildlife Court that could specifically deal with cases such as wildlife and forest crimes. They called for logical support and more man-power to effectively police the forest, in the wake of the increasing habits of wildlife abuses and forest crimes. They, however pledged to work together in a conserted fashion to combat wildelife trafficking and bush meat trade.

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