MONROVIA–The Government of Liberia with support from the World Bank, the Government of Norway and Donor Partners is organizing a high-level international forum to highlight the significance of Liberia’s forestry sector and climate resilience at the turn of 2023.
The high-level forest and climate resilience forum which kicks up from February 2 through the 3rd is designed to catalyze or accelerate renewed commitments and strengthen partnerships in sustainable forest management as key strategies supporting the Government of Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).’ President George Manneh Weah is expected to officially address the opening session of the forum. Other co-conveners of the event are USAID-Liberia, UNDP, The Swedish Embassy, The European Union, and the Government of the United Kingdom through its Embassy in Liberia. The event is expected to mobilize over 200 participants and will feature high-level regional and international Ministers and Directors spearheading forest management in their respective countries.
The platform will set the stage for community leaders, global experts on forests, economic development and climate change, private sector leaders, and development partners to share success stories about the benefits and opportunities the forest sector can offer to the overall economic development of Liberia Prominent among high-level presentations and keynote speeches expected to be delivered will come from the Norwegian Minister of Climate and the Environment, Senior World Bank officials, representatives of the United Nations agencies in Liberia, the European Union, regional Ministers of Forestry and Environment of Cote d’Ivoire, the Republic of Sierra Leone, and the Republic of Ghana.
Other high-profile keynote speakers expected to deliver papers at the event are Professor Wilson Tarpeh including recognized local leaders and champions of sustainable forest management across forest-dependent communities in Liberia. Liberia’s forest sector has the potential to contribute to the reduction of extreme poverty and support increased prosperity along a low-emissions development trajectory.
However, the remaining forest blocks are under increasing threat due to their continued degradation and clearance for agricultural expansion, illegal logging, and mining activities, at both industrial and subsistence scales with little or reforestation plan for forest preservation.
At COP 26 in 2021, President George MannehWeah underscored the importance of the valuable contributions of Liberia’s tropical rainforest to mitigating climate change and called on global leaders to make concerted efforts aimed at compensating the national government and underserved local communities whose livelihoods depend on the forests.
In Glasgow, President Weah implored world leaders to establish an African Carbon Credit Trading Mechanism, saying, “With your support, Liberia will be willing to host a conference in the near future to explore the details and structure of such an entity”.
Ultimately, the February Forest and Climate Resilience Forum is a realization of the President’s call two years ago. The forum will serve as the ideal platform to rally support for the President’s vision of seeking common action to save the planet.