MONROVIA-The Forestry Training Institute (FTI) in Tubmansburg, Bomi County, has launched its first post-war Scientific Research and Learning Centers (SRLC) for students of the institution.
The Centers scientifically known as herbarium and arboretum are intended to enhance the experimental research learning skills of the students of FTI.
The herbarium will be used to keep major tree species deem to be facing extinction while the arboretum will serve as mini forest research point for FTI students to familiarize themselves with the various tree species while undergoing study.
The facilities established FTI through the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) with support Technical Support from USAID in partnership with the United States Forest Service.
Launching the project, FDA Managing Director, Mike Doyen said his administration places major prioritize on research and pledged the FDA’s support to the full utilization of the herbarium and arboretum.
Mr. Doyen noted that in Liberia, much attention had not been given to research, but said the FDA is working harder to change the narrative.
He furthered that this time around, instead of relying on international partners for forest Data, the FDA has resolved to strengthen its research department to make its robust in data collection and analysis.
“Research is key to obtaining useful information on how to address some of the challenges confronting the way we intent managing our forest resources”, he said
“Let me say to you that efforts are underway to make FTI an Associate degree-granting institution”, Mr. Doyen said.
“We have already concluded on all the requirements with the National Commission on Higher Education for FTI to be elevated to an associate degree”, Mr. Doyen maintained.
Liberia Technical Advisor to the United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service, speaking at the launch of the Center at FTI on March 1, 2022, Dr. Benedictus Freeman said Liberia has the biggest portion of tropical forest in West Africa and as such, the need for a forest research center in the country cannot be overemphasized.
Dr. Freeman said with the establishment of the infrastructure, FTI students now have the opportunity to acquire perfect research knowledge on how to collect tree specimens and be able to identify tree species before working as conservation officers or forest rangers.
“So our whole support here is to build the capacity of FTI to be a center of excellence so that it can be able to train”, Dr. Freeman told a gathering of conservationists.
The Executive Director of the Forestry Training Institute, Joel Gamy pledged to positively transform the entity to train more professional Liberians in the forestry sector.
Gamy said his administration has already set up modern state-of-the-art research and learning centers for students at FTI.
He said FTI’s Students will now have the opportunity to do research and learn the name of tree species and their contributions to the ecosystem before their graduation.
Gamy then lauded the USAID, the United States Forest Service and the Liberian Government through the FDA for their technical and financial support to establishing the research and learning center known as the herbarium and Arboretum.
The program was attended by Conservation stakeholders including Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, Society for the Conservation, Liberia Chimpanzee and Rescue Center USAID amongst others.