Liberia: Environmentalists Rally Policy Makers for Sustainable Forest Management to Attract 'Huge' Financial Benefits

Monrovia — The Coordinator of Redd+ program at the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) David Saah said Liberia stands a great chance to amass huge financial wealth from its forest resources, but that can only be possible through a proper or sustainable management of the forest.

REDD+ is an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. It is a voluntary climate change mitigation approach that has been developed by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It aims to incentivize developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conserve forest carbon stocks, sustainably manage forests and enhance forest carbon stocks.

At a one-day REDD+ Technical Working Group (RTWG) meeting held in Monrovia on Thursday, Mr. Saah said if Liberia, as a country agrees to protect its forest from being destroyed, it stands to be compensated for doing so. He said it entails the need for increased community benefit so that members of those forest communities would forgo activities that lead to deforestation and degradation.

"People in forest communities must get the needed benefits because they are the direct managers of the forest," he said.

He warned that Liberia stand to lose one million hectares by 2030 of it forest if does not adapt more sustainable method of using its forest.

Madam Danise Love Dennis, Communications Specialist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), wants Liberia to align itself to achieving all proposals mentioned at the COP26 in Scotland in 2021.

As discussed at the COP26, the EPA Communications head wants the country aaccelerate efforts in climate finance measures by supporting new market solution and technology.

"Now that COP26 has concluded, it is up to Liberia to engage with the spirit of the Paris Agreement and to meet her obligations as party to the Agreement," she stated.

She pointed out the need to focus on accountability and short-term actions rather than being consumed with bold targets for the future.

Margibi County Senator, Jim Tornola, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, welcomed the policies recommendations made by Liberians at various environmental meetings, but wants to some of those key policies to be recommendations to be elevated into laws that will be binding on society and would be difficult to change by future powers.

"Some of these policies are good but we need to make them stronger by legislating them," added the Margibi County lawmaker.

River Gee County Senator, Jonathan Boye Charles Sogbie, who co-chairs the committee, stressed the need for those policies outcomes to be balanced so as to meet the reality on ground.

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