World Bank and Liberian Government Conduct Household Forest Survey

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Hon. C. Mike_doryen

The World Bank and the Liberian Government through Liberia Institute
of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) and the
Forestry Development Authority (FDA), have commenced
training of enumerators in preparation for the launch of the
National Household Forest Survey in Liberia. This survey
will cover 3000 households from 300 Enumeration Areas (EAs)
in Liberia’s 15 counties. These will be complemented by 300
community level questionnaires, one in each of the selected
EAs.

Funded by the World Bank through its
Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD+ Readiness Project
implemented by the FDA, this socioeconomic survey is to
collect baseline data on households that live in or near
forested areas and rely on forest products as part of their
welfare and livelihoods. So far there is no credible data in
Liberia that provides accurate estimates of local dependency
on forests and this survey will assist in understanding how
local populations value the forests and depend on it for
livelihoods.

“This is a piece of pioneering work
which will not only inform policies and programs that
benefit forest dependent population in Liberia, but also the
experience gained would be helpful for other countries,
challenged by similar data constraints,” said World Bank
Liberia Country Manager Larisa Leshchenko.

Following completion of the survey, a
systematic analysis of various important issues, including
identification of incentives to conserve and utilize forests
will be done. The results will ensure the crafting of
policies and interventions to mitigate drivers of
deforestation and forest degradation.

“Liberia’s forests are of key
importance from the national and international perspectives.
Generating accurate information is crucial for better
decision-making and sustainable forest management, and the
forestry survey will make a strong contribution in this
direction,” FDA Managing Director C. Mike Doryen pointed
out.

This survey will provide a holistic
understanding of the role that forest ecosystems and
products play in providing pathways out of poverty and
information for the design of policies to achieve
sustainable reduction in poverty and inequality. The
experience gained from conducting this survey will provide a
customized tool, as well as practical guidance on applying
it in other countries facing similar challenges.

“Enumerators and field workers must
perform in accordance with all the set rules and standards
so that you can proudly share in the success of this
Household Forest Survey,” said LISGIS Director-General
Francis Wreh.

The National Household Forest Survey is
the first of its kind in Liberia, and it will address a
significant forest data gap for the country. The survey
results will also help national authorities to design
policies that would lead to raising incomes of remotely
located households from forest related activities;
incorporating gender aspects of forest use and management in
development strategies; and strengthening household
strategies to cope with shocks and unexpected setbacks such
as food shortage and climate shocks.