MONROVIA, Aug. 11 (LINA) – The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) on Tuesday donated a set of musical instruments to the ‘Shining Star National Musical Band’ to help promote ecotourism in Liberia.
Speaking during the donation ceremony at the headquarters of the FDA in Mount Barclay, Montserrado County, FDA Managing Director C. Mike Doyen indicated that the donation is geared toward promoting ecotourism in the works of the entity.
Doyen disclosed that his institution launched the ‘Ecotourism Potential Studies’ two months ago with the aim of generating funds to enable the forest support itself.
Doyen said as part of ecotourism, authorities at FDA do recognize the importance of culture as part of ecotourism which led to the establishment of the working relationship between the FDA and one of the well-respected traditional musical bands in the country.
He added that the group benefiting from the donation is a traditional group that portrays the tradition of the Liberian people, most especially the Bassa-speaking people, noting that the most outstanding traditional music in Liberia is the ‘Gbema’.
Doyen pointed out that the Bassa-speaking people are found in many parts of Liberia, including, Bong, Montserrado, Rivercess, Margibi, and Grand Bassa counties, among others.
The FDA boss said, the head of the Shining Star Musical Band, Mr. Emmanuel H. Sayon is an influential star among the Bassa-speaking people, noting that the Bassa ethnic group is known for its hospitality and entertainment which, according to him, serves as a driving force behind the empowerment of the musical group in order to get their support in the activities of the entity in its ecotourism endeavors.
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) at the FDA, Mr. Saah A. David indicated that the Liberia Foreign Sector Project is funded by the Government of Norway through the World Bank.
He cited that one of the areas of interest for the Foreign Sector Project is ecotourism, adding that the conservation of the forest is more interested in adding value to the lives of people who live on the fringes of the forest, other than the traditional logging, pit sawing and other activities that lead to deforestation and forest degradation.
“As part of the program, one of the key deliverables for us under the program is ecotourism. So we are happy this morning that the Managing Director along with his able lieutenants chose to present a musical set to the king of Bassa music” David noted.
He disclosed that in a couple of weeks, the FDA family along with the Liberia News Agency will embark on an ecotourism journey to Lake Piso in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County where the Liberia Foreign Sector Project through the World Bank and the FDA will be presenting two boats for tourism and ecotourism purposes.
He stated that Liberia has a very good potential when it comes to ecotourism, noting that it is important to note that Liberia has at least 42% of the remaining Upper Guinea Forest, pondering why Liberia has not taken advantage of the ecotourism sector.
David asserted that it is never too late for the country to prioritize the sector, pointing out that the FDA authority has identified the low hanging fruits which have to do with the Gola National Park.
He called for the protection of the Gola National Park on grounds that the park has more potential for ecotourism because the park is Trans-boundary.
Additionally, David called on the FDA family to endorse the First Lady of Liberia as the face of ecotourism in Liberia as a means of attracting more investment in the sector.
Also, the head of the Shining Star Musical band, Emmanuel H. Sayon, expressed gratitude to the FDA family for the provision of the musical instrument to his group.
In the consignment are a musical set, one power generator, two gigantic speakers and a mixer, among others.
Sayon noted that the gesture comes as a surprise to his group and added that the donation will help boost their aims and objectives.