By Mark N. Mengonfia- email@example.com
MONROVIA-Last week, the Government of Liberia with the support of the Kingdom of Norway and the World Bank organized a high leveled Forest and Climate Resilient forum in Congo Town.
According to the Organizers, the purpose of the just-ended forum was to catalog renewed commitments and to strengthen partnerships in Sustainable Forest Management as a key strategy that will support Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) dubbed and introduced by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, (CDC).
The event ended last Friday with many persons proffering suggestions that will help conserve the forest of Liberia and help tackle the challenges in the sector.
Liberia, unarguably, has the largest green forest in South Saharan Africa.
The West African Nation is reported to have a higher percentage of the Upper Guinea Forest, according to research.
It is in this direction that Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, Head of Delegation of the European Union craved some recommendations at the end of the forum.
In his remarks, when he served as one of the Panelists at the Forum, Amb. Delahousse said that time was running out for the needed approaches to be adopted to preserve the climate.
According to him, the world in general, and Liberia, in particular, do not have to wait for perfect solutions.
“The forest issues must be tackled with a diverse approach in order to focus on all the drivers of deforestation. Integrated approaches and solutions have to be imperative including agriculture, mining, financial sector, private sector, justice, biodiversity conservation, infrastructure, and education sectors, etc. We have to start thinking and acting in a systemic way,” he noted.
The EU Diplomat advanced that forest issues should be streamlined into policy related issues that take into consideration an approach to solve problems.
He said that territorial management and land use management at landscape and community level have to be developed.
“We have to focus on community forests at different levels, especially on governance, livelihood alternatives and sustainable forestry practices, we have to find a good balance between forest conservation and commercial and logging activities at community forest level” , the EU Representative indicated
Additionally, he recommended that Liberia should derive innovative ways to compensate community foresting, based on measurable results, to encourage more sustainable choices and behaviors, and by all means including green and carbon financing.
“We have to ensure that, when green and carbon financing mechanisms are in place, funds will effectively reach the communities, he mentioned.”
According to him, beyond the VPA and in the context of its holistic approach to forest, since COP 27, the European Union has launched Forests Partnerships with five countries to include Guyana, Mongolia, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zambia by signing tailor-made MoUs.