Higher Education for Conservation Launches
“Mobilizing Liberia for Conservation” and
A Call for Action Conference on World Earth Day

On Monday, April 22, 2024, World Earth Day, the Higher Education for Conservation (HECA) hosted the “Mobilizing Liberia for Conservation” International Partner Conference and Call to Action that took place at the Farmington Hotel, in lower Margibi County, Liberia.

Official government representatives from the donor community, local and international NGO representatives, private sector leaders, academics, higher education administrators and students, community leaders, green entrepreneurs and innovators, and youth representatives, all gathered to deliberate on key topics relating to forestry, biodiversity, conservation and green enterprise development. Recognizing that getting the message out about conservation to Liberians requires an "all hands-on deck" approach, and that effective, sustainable action for conservation requires the mobilization of an entire ecosystem of interconnected actors, the team used the convening power of HECA to bring stakeholders into a common conversation that launched multiple lines of action across Liberia on Forestry, Biodiversity, and Conservation themes.

On behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Liberia, Economic Growth Office Director Megan Kyles, expressed USAID’s commitment to the Government and people of Liberia and how deeply the United States cares about the welfare of communities and Liberia’s forests, biodiversity, conservation and green enterprises. Other representatives from the U.S. Government and USAID were also present.

Government officials from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Forestry Development Agency (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs attended the conference and participated in panel discussions. There was also a “Made in Liberia” Green Enterprise Fair to afford participants the opportunity to learn about various products and other forest resources.

This project is sponsored by USAID and implemented by the University of Georgia and its consortium partners; the University of Liberia (UL), the Forestry Training Institute (FTI), Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University (AAMU), Tuskegee University (TU), the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) at Wellesley College, the University Consortium for Liberia (UCL), and the Resilient Africa Network (RAN) in Uganda. This five-year initiative is designed to establish the Forestry, Biodiversity, Conservation (FBC) Center of excellence at the University of Liberia Fendell Campus, develop a National FBC Curriculum for use by the Liberia Higher Education Institutions in FBC, develop a curriculum in soft skills, strengthen faculty, students, and others, promote social inclusion and Green Enterprise Development initiatives.

For further information, please contact Hon. Cynthia L. Blandford at +1 678-612-2192 or cblandford@UCLiberia.com
or Val Thompson, at +1 832-526-3335 or val@IFMagazine.net

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