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Weah re-commits to Climate Change fight 

By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh 

President George Weah renews government’s commitment to ensuring a sustainable forest management in Liberia and enhancing resilience.

Mr. Weah on Thursday, February 2, told an ongoing high-level Forest and Climate Resilience Forum at the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (EJS) Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, that his administration remains robust and will expand bold efforts to tackle the climate crisis, and mitigation programs.

President Weah acknowledges the importance and effects of Climate Change, and the urgent need to combat it, while reaffirming that government will continue to provide strong leadership in Climate Change.

The President says the event marked an important milestone for Liberia, in its collective efforts to achieve goals towards sustainable forest management and climate finance, through the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

Family photo

“As we gather today, I am looking forward to discussing how we can strengthen partnership and renew commitments for ensuring sustainable forest management in Liberia; this forum is part of our nation’s vision for managing our forest in a sustainable way and contributing to global efforts to address Climate Change, while leveraging carbon payments for national and community development”, President Weah expresses.

He reveals that for the first time in 2006, the Government of Liberia provided a state of the environment report and the national environmental action plan in 2021, adding that the report characterized development policies and investment decision in key sectors, going forward.

The “Fundamental results of all”, he continues, “is the fact that, under the leadership of the CDC-led government, an operation of a comprehensive Land Rights Act, which harmonizes strongly with other existing natural resource management laws.”

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The Liberian leader notes that it is a well-known fact that Liberia maintains the largest portion of the remaining upper-guinea forest, and the country is also recognized as being some of the key biodiversity hotspots in the world.

He says in view of that, government is currently creating new protected- area, to expand already existing protected area network in a bid to meet national and international targets and conservation commitments, something, he adds will help boost the potential for eco-tourism and create more jobs for Liberians.

President Weah reiterates call for Liberia and other countries in the region to work together with development partners and the private sector to establish and operationalize an Africa Carbon Market.

“The steps we are taking today as a government, with the support of our development partners, will not only help achieve socio-economic development in Liberia, but will also help to save the forest and  planet,” he assures. 

He discloses that government is working to additionally develope capacities of communities to manage their forests, including land-use planning and formalization.

“We are improving policies and revising laws and regulations, for commercial forestry to be more sustainable. Of course, there are still challenges and issues, but we remain unrelenting in our efforts to deal with them. Sooner, rather than later, under my leadership, we will surmount these challenges in order to ensure that forest resources benefit all Liberians.”

He says Liberia looks with a great deal of optimism, working with development partners, in improving governance of the forest sector and enabling forest-dependent communities to develop sustainable jobs and income-creation enterprises.

The President pledges that government will remain committed and demonstrate through actions, that Liberia stands with the rest of the world in combating climate change.

He lauds partners for continuously contributing to the development of the forest and environmental sector of Liberia, while appreciating those who continue to help Liberia, mobilize resources to meet the commitment to its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC’s ) in Paris, France.

In 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) and its partners reviewed Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that deals with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance signed in 2016.

The NDCs are at the core of the Paris Agreement (PA), under which 191 countries, including Liberia, committed to limit global warming to “well below 2 degrees above preindustrial levels,” and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. NDCs are the delivery mechanism to reach the PA goals and achieving the overall global greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation target, embodying efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Addressing the forum earlier, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Boss, Professor Wilson Tarpeh, acknowledged that Liberia faces critical task in creating an enabling environment for Climate resilience to create opportunities for sustainable great economic development in the country.

Prof. Tarpeh said this is why Liberia’s climate commitment is strewing in the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions that is very ambitious.

He says this is also why Liberia has moved a step forward to ratifying the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as far back as 1992, as a beginning of efforts to creating an enabling environment for Climate Change.

He adds that the country also established the legal and institutional framework for addressing environment and climate change, which includes creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the legislation of Environmental and Management law and ratification of the Paris Agreement, to protect Climate Change and mitigations of the forest.

Also speaking, World Bank Country Director Khwima Nthara notes that the forest sector has been identified as one possible pathway for helping countries reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity.

 He said the World Bank’s mission in member countries is to help them achieve the twin goals of ending extreme poverty.

“In Liberia, these twin goals are very much aligned to the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development,” Mr. Nthara adds.

 The Liberia Forest and Climate Resilience Forum is organized by the Government of Liberia in collaboration with the World Bank and the Kingdom of Norway.

Meanwhile, the high-level Forum continues today, February 3, at the EJS Ministerial Complex in Congo Town with panelists pledging renewed commitments and strengthened partnerships in sustainable forest management. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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