National Household Forest Survey to Begin on August 27

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Forty-five enumerators are currently undergoing training in preparation for the launch of the National Household Forest Survey on August 27.

A World Bank press statement said the training, which commenced on August 13 and ends on August 25, is being conducted by the World Bank and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services.

At the end of the training, 35 enumerators will be selected through a thorough evaluation while another batch of seven supervisors, seven mappers, seven listers, and seven monitors will also join the enumerators for the exercise.

The survey is expected to cover 3,000 households from 300 enumeration areas in the 15 counties.

The socio-economic survey is meant 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.

According to the World Bank, there is no credible data in Liberia that provides accurate estimates of local dependency on forests and the survey will assist in understanding how local populations value the forests and depend on it for their livelihood.

“This is a piece of pioneering work which will not only inform policies and programs that benefit forest-dependent populations in Liberia but also the experience gained would be helpful for other countries challenged by similar data constraints,” the press statement quotes Larisa Leshchenko, the World Bank country manager as saying.

Following completion of the survey, a systematic analysis of various important issues would be conducted. The result would be the identification of incentives to conserve and utilize forests.

Mike Doryen, the Forestry Development Authority’s managing director, emphasized that the country’s forests are of crucial importance from the national and international perspectives and that “generating accurate information is crucial for better decision-making and sustainable forest management.”

Doryen indicated that the forestry survey would make a substantial contribution to inform systematic analysis: “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 FDA managing director mentioned.

Furthermore, authorities hope the survey results can be used to design policies that would lead to rising incomes of remotely located households.

Featured photo by Michael Nyumah Sahr/World Bank

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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