The Forestry Training Institute in Liberia is a key technical school that offers two-year programs for forest rangers and other natural resource professionals in both government and non-government sectors. The Forest Service International Programs office, in partnership and with funding from the United States Agency for International Development, is working with FTI to update its curriculum and train instructors to strengthen forestry education.
The Forest Service plans help integrate more social science concepts into the curriculum, such as community forestry, community engagement and conflict resolution.
Social scientist Lee Cerveny (PNW), Adam Welti (IP) and consultant Paul Purnell from Training Resources Group are at FTI for two weeks. They are assessing the institute’s current curriculum, meeting with staff and students, observing courses, leading professional development workshops aimed to improve instruction and delivering guest lectures.
Following this visit the Forest Service team will work with FTI and USAID to develop a strategy for continued support to FTI. By focusing on professional education, and specifically aspects for engaging communities more in forest management and decision-making, the Forest Service hopes to ultimately contribute to more effective natural resources management in Liberia.
Liberia is home to over half of the remaining rainforests in West Africa. The richly biodiverse forests also support livelihoods for millions of Liberians, making community engagement in forest management critical to their sustainability.