A visiting World Bank team has rated Liberia’s REDD+ initiatives as encouraging, but cautioned that 10 days is not sufficient to complete what is being envisaged for the country in terms of project preparation.
The team said there were strategically two angles of the project, including development and climate change, which go together as one cannot happen without the other.
According to the New Liberia Media Initiatives, the World Bank team has hailed the government’s Agenda for Transformation or Vision 2030 as an enabling policy framework, which is emerging as well as legislation of lands rights policy, still being highly anticipated.
The Bank believes that Liberia being a signatory to the UN efforts on climate change and biodiversity has demonstrated commitment by taking the first few steps despite difficult circumstances since 2009 to become part of the forest carbon partnership and to initiate REDD+.
The Bank said it was important to understand that support coming to Liberia as a result of Letter of Intent between Liberia and Norway is meant for paradigm shift in forest resource management, using carbon finance as a catalyst.
However, it cautioned that support should not be viewed as an end in itself, but should instead fit into the national vision for forest sector reform, development and climate change in the country.
While recognizing challenges facing benefit sharing trust fund and payment to communities, the team emphasized the need for right incentives to produce positive results in reducing deforestation and forest degradation in Liberia.
Some civil society members, who formed part of the REDD+ Technical Working Group, see the engagement of the private sector as a major challenge, naming large scale agricultural activities as paramount, while seeking clearer a definition of degraded land in Liberia.