“Liberia Committed To Climate Change” -Weah Tells Forest and Climate Forum

MONROVIA – 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 our planet.

As part of the cardinal objectives of his government to ensure Liberia participates in global development issues, President George Manneh Weah said under his administration Liberia is exerting strong leadership role to combat climate change not only to help achieve socio-economic development of the country but also to help save the planet.

President Weah made the statement yesterday, Thursday, February 2, 2023, at the EJS Ministerial Conference when he delivered his address at the Liberia Forest and Resillience Forum which according to the President is part of “our national vision for managing our forests in a sustainable way, and contributing to global efforts to address climate change, while leveraging carbon payments for national and community development”. He used this opportunity to reiterate his call for Liberia and other countries in the region to work together with our development partners and the private sector, to establish and operationalize an Africa Carbon Market.

“I am pleased to be here this morning to welcome all of you who are attending the Liberia Forest and Climate Resilience Forum 2023, as this occasion marks an important milestone in our collective efforts to achieve the goals of our national development plan, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), through sustainable forest management and climate finance

“You may recall that, in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2021, at COP 26, I proposed the idea of an African Carbon Market as the basis for a concerted effort to address climate change, while utilizing the associated opportunities for the socio-economic development of our people.  I reiterated this call last year when I had the opportunity to address COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. 

“Under my Administration, the Liberian Government continues to provide strong leadership on climate change. For the first time since 2006, we were able to prepare a State of the Environment Report and a National Environmental Action Plan in 2021. This report will inform development policy and investment decisions in key sectors going forward.  Fundamental to all of this is the fact that, under our leadership, we now have in operation a comprehensive Land Rights Act, which harmonizes strongly with other existing natural resource management laws”, the President said.

President Weah said It is a well-known fact that Liberia maintains the largest portion of the remaining Upper Guinea Forest and that Liberia is recognized as being among some of the key biodiversity hotspots in the world. “In view of that, my Government is currently creating new Protected Areas to expand our already existing protected area network, so as to meet our targets under national and international conservation commitments. This will boost the potential for ecotourism and create more jobs for our people”, he said.

He said the forum look forward to discussing how the participants can strengthen partnerships and renew commitments for ensuring sustainable forest management in Liberia and enhancing climate resilience. 

“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 our planet.

“Let me take this time to thank our partners who continue to contribute to the development of the forest and environmental sectors of Liberia. We also thank those who continue to help Liberia mobilize resources to meet our commitments as captured in our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

 “I give special thanks to the Kingdom of Norway, the United States Government, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the Government of Sweden. Thanks also to the World Bank, UNDP, FAO and other organizations for their invaluable technical and financial support. We recognize and thank all national and international Civil Society Organizations that continue to help our communities over the years to assert their rights and organize better to manage natural resources in Liberia.

“We owe special gratitude to all government institutions involved with the management of our forest and natural resources generally, for getting us to where we are today- although we know that there is a lot more that still needs to be done.

“Additionally, we are also developing the 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. 

 “We look to the future with a great deal of optimism as we continue to work with you, our development partners, in improving governance of the forest sector and enabling forest-dependent communities develop sustainable jobs and income-creation enterprises”, the President concluded.

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