Ministry representative from the Forestry Division Mr. Abubakar Sesay hosted a live sensitization programme on Radio Universal FM 98.7 June 6th 2014, with a repeat on June 9th 2014 on Radio Democracy FM 98.1. Mr. Sesay informed the public of the Forestry Concessions Administration System (FCAS) currently used by the Forestry Division to process and issue licenses whilst keeping track of generated revenue base.
Further, it was explained that this software will also soon be deployed to the regional District Forest Offices piloting in Kenema within a couple of months. Mr. Sesay also informed the public how to apply for various commercial forestry licenses, announcing the User Guidelines. These can be found on this website under the Applications section.
It was emphasized that stakeholders applying for a Concession Agreement ought to provide the ministry with a GPS surveying of intended operational area to avoid overlaps of concessions. Both programmes ended with an interactive section allowing the public to ask clarifying questions.
Some question concerned the User Guidelines, buyers called to ask how they could ensure buying only legal forestry products, and Mr. Sesay was asked if the FCAS information would be made public. To the latter it was explained that the data will soon be published through the Government of Sierra Leone’s Online Repository (www.sierraleone.revenusystems.org). Concerns were also raised about sustainable management and illegal logging and it was explained that 10 pct of all export fees went directly to the re-forestation fund.
Finally both programmes were aired twice; once during morning – and once during evening hours.