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USAID, USFS Remain Supportive

A five-year year strategic plan which basically aims to rejuvenate or refurbish the Forestry Training Institute (FTI) and purge it from the debris of underdevelopment has been officially unveiled to the public in Tubmanburg, Bomi County.

On December 22, 2022 during an elaborate program graced by several conservation partners including the visiting Helix Project Team a USAID sponsored team engaged locally based new and underutilized partners to expand and amplify the Agency’s work through and with higher education.

The strategic plan basically mirrors the envisioned FTI in terms of infrastructural, staff capacity building as well as an appreciable standard of the institution comparable to other institutions in the developing world.

Essentially, the plan presents the previous condition of the FTI before, during and after the war and the challenges it’s currently faced with that need to be addressed to ensure its growth and development, one which will suit the dream of the government of Liberia whose philosophy for the conservation and protection of the forest remains unbent or candid.

As the consequence of the collaborative efforts of the US Forest Service and the USAID, the plan is certainly a tool that promises to give FTI a realistic and practical growth, one that will certainly make it a booming institution in Liberia, if not the subregion as a whole.

Likewise other parts of Liberia, FTI was brought down to its knee as the result of the 15 -year dreadful Liberian civil. Its image as well as existence got eroded during the dark period and has remained at a doldrum point so that it continues to struggle to get away from the debris and ashes of the war.

Earlier in his welcome statement, the Executive Director of the FTI, Joel Gamys, expressed joy over the gradual growth and development being experienced at FTI given the visible light that beams at the end of the tunnel, something he described as dream coming true.

Mr. Gamys joyfully boasted about the gains being made at the FTI including the construction of the Herbarium Center, improved curriculum, and cooperation of the conservation partners which he said has and continues to rescue the lost image of the institution and making it an unquestionable Liberia’s pride in the Forestry sector.

Mr. Gamys comprehensively presented the embodiment of the plan page by page to the audience admist cheer.

He dedicated the plan to the late Executive Director, Jeremiah F. Karmo whom he said sowed the seed of the fruits being harvested today thus describing the late Karmo as man of courage and determination and thus the need to capture his deeds historically is not a mistake.

Officially launching the plan in collaboration with the USAID, the Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), C. Mike Doryen who also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of FTI, repeatedly praised the USFS, UNSAID and other partners for their efforts which have practically made FTI as a Center of Excellence having been transformed from being a battle field as was the case during the war years.

He wholeheartedly extended to the conversation partners, President Weah’s best wishes and encouraged them to keep the spirit and passion of protecting our forest and all of its constituent elements burning.
He also thanked the visiting Helix delegation for opening a salient chapter that promises to add a true dynamism to the FTI.

Mr. Doryen hoped that in the sooner possible time and given the concerted efforts being explored behind the scene, the FTI will be an associate degree granting institution.

The Country Coordinator of the US Forest Service, Ben Freeman, reiterated the USAID and USFS’ continued preparedness to assiduously work with the FTI administration geared at ensuring that the strategic plan so tirelessly crafted would bear desired fruits for the benefit of the entire nation.

Dr. Freeman emphasized the unarguable need to keep the wheel of forest conservation smoothly turning a direction that will set a platform for future generation.

He called for a new mindset in terms cherishing our forest and giving it the maximum care and security it deserves given that it remains our national pride and heritage.

At the same time the Jeremiah F. Karmo Conservation Hall constructed by the USAID was equally unveiled and it’s to serve as multipurpose building intended for meetings and other fund raising businesses.

FTI is an integral component within the forestry sector responsible to train middle level foresters under the supervision of the FDA.

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