The Environmental Focal Person at the United Nations Development Program or UNDP Moses Massah has warned here that deforestation or the clearing of the Liberian forest, poses serious threat to the environment, and causes harm for species.
“This act of clearing our forest has a negative impact on the environment. It affects biodiversity including the … ability to threaten the environment …” Mr. Massah said on UNMIL Radio on Thursday, 8 June.
He has cited shifting cultivation, charcoal production, unsustainable logging, industrial oil and rubber plantations and unsustainable mining as the key drivers of deforestation in Liberia.
The UNDP Focal Person describes deforestation as one of the key environmental challenges Liberia is currently facing.He says the caution was earlier sounded in the city of Ganta, Nimba County at the World Environment Day celebration organized by Liberia’s Environment Protection Agency or EPA when he served as proxy for UNDP Country Director, Dr. Pa LamineBeyai at this year’s celebration.
The EPA is responsible for the protection of the environment and conservation of biodiversity through the implementation of policy that ensures long term economic prosperity for Liberia.
World Environmental Day is celebrated worldwide on every 5 June, and this year’s theme was “Connecting People to Nature”, with a slogan: “Appreciate Nature, Save the Environment”.
Mr. Massah wants Liberians to take immediate steps to reduce deforestation if they must keep their environment healthy. He suggests that Liberians can connect to nature by turning their cities green, and their parks into green lung and hubs of biodiversity.
“You can green the urban environment by greening your streets,” he notes and further stresses the need for the protection of the environment. The UNDP official says if Liberians cannot sustain the environment, they cannot sustain themselves.
He concludes that as part of its contributions to the protection of the environment, UNDP is collaborating with the EPA to support Youth Exploring Solution or YES, a local youth group, to undertake community clean-up campaign in Monrovia.
By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley