FDA Boss Wants Forest Rangers Armed To Protect Wildlife, Forests
The Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) C. Mike Doryen, is proposing that ‘Forest Rangers’ of the entity be armed as a means of enabling them to adequately protect Liberian wildlife and forests.
Doryen stated that the arming of Forest Rangers will go a long way in protecting and preventing the destruction of the forest and wildlife in the nation.
Doryen made the statement Wednesday at a program marking the celebration of World Chimpanzee Day held at the Duport Road Park in Paynesville outside Monrovia.Celebrated in honor of humankind’s closest living relative, World Chimpanzee Day is observed annually on July 14 to celebrate chimpanzees and present an opportunity to raise awareness about the vital need for worldwide participation in their care, protection and conservation in the wild and in captivity.
July 14, 1960 marks the day English primatologist and anthropologist, Dr. Jane Goodall, first stepped foot in what is now Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, to study wild chimpanzees. Dr. Goodall called attention to the remarkable chimpanzee and to the observance of the day.
The FDA boss, however, alleged that an armed man is currently in the Gola forest where he has set-up camp and carrying on illegal hunting.
The man, according to Doryen, is destroying the forest and killing the wildlife, alleging that he has also threatened to kill anybody who attempts to stop him.
Director Doryen stressed that the authorities of the FDA have informed security agencies of government about the illegal activities of the man in the Gola forest, citing that if the rangers are armed they will prevent people from venturing into the forests of Liberian.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director for Economic Growth Office at USIAD/Liberia, Mavrice Ogutu, said Liberia is the home to the largest remaining portion of the Upper Guinean rainforest.
Ogutu stated that over 40 percent of the remaining forest stands in Liberia, adding that the forests are hotspots for biodiversity such as chimpanzees, elephants, pygmy hippos, among others.
He noted that preserving Liberia’s forest is one of the keys to protecting chimpanzees and other species as well as water resources, carbon sinks and tourism assets.
According to him, USIAD has a long history of supporting forest and wildlife conservation in Liberia through the Forest Incomes for Environmental Sustainability (FIFES) activity.
Ogutu indicated that USAID is also supporting the conservation of protected areas and programs to counter wildlife trafficking through the West Africa Biodiversity Climate Change (WABiCC) activity.