Monrovia, September 9, 2019 –The Liberia Land Authority/LLA participated in a two-day National REDD+ High-Level Policy Dialogue under the theme: “Towards a National Vision and Support for Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in Liberia”.

The two-day National REDD+ High-Level Policy dialogue organized by the National REDD+ Technical Working Group with funding from the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) ended successfully on August 30, 2019, at the Beer Garden Hotel in Gompa/Ganta city, Nimba county.

The two-day dialogue brought together a Cross-section of key Stakeholders, including Heads of Government Ministries and Agencies, such as Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia/EPA, Liberia Land Authority/LLA, Forestry Development Authority/FDA, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning/MFDP, Ministry of Agriculture/MoF, and the Ministry of Mines & Energy, as well as Superintendents from selected counties. Also in attendance were local and international Civil Society Organizations/CSOs, including , and ACDI VOCA, Fauna and Flora International, Conservation International, WABICC, Union of CFMB, World Resource Institute, SDI, NGO coalition of Liberia, among others.

Speaking at the opening program, Hon. C. Mike Doryen, Managing Director, Forestry Development Authority/FDA thanked the people of Nimba County and appreciated the delegates for their participation. He informed delegates that the objective of the dialogue is to update policy makers on progress of REDD+ in Liberia, facilitate review of issues affecting the implementation of REDD+ and as well share technical information to inform high level buy-in and mainstreaming of REDD+ implementation into the national development planning and polices.

He said the forest is one of the endowments of Liberia, thus, it should be managed for the benefit of all Liberia. Addressing participants, the Acting Chairman & Chairman Designate of the Liberia Land Authority/LLA, Hon. Atty. J. Adams Manobah, Sr, acknowledged the hard work of the organizers and thanked participants for their participation. He called on stakeholders involved in REDD+ implementation to pay more attention to the newly established Land Rights Act/LRA. Hon. Manobah used the occasion to provide participants with relevant information on the Land Rights Act/LRA and its benefits, and the land ownership rights of communities, especially regarding anticipated incentives from carbon sale through result based payment.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a mechanism developed by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. Developing countries would receive results-based payments for results-based actions.

REDD+ goes beyond simply deforestation and forest degradation and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Liberia first engaged in the REDD+ readiness process in 2007 with funding from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). A REDD+ technical working group was established as a platform for government, non-governmental organizations and civil society to engage in the preparation of a Readiness Program Idea Note (R-PIN), which was submitted, to the FCPF in May 2008. This was followed by the draft Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) that was finalized in April 2012.

Furthermore, since then the Forestry Development Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia have led the work to complete the REDD+ Readiness phase of the FCPF process. In 2014, the prospects for REDD+ and sustainable forest management in Liberia were further enhanced by the signing of an agreement between Liberia and Norway to cooperate on REDD+ and develop Liberia’s forestry and agriculture sectors. With funding from the FCPF, Liberia has developed a National REDD+ Strategy, Safeguard Information System, Feedback and Grievance Redress Mechanism (FGRM) and has addressed legal and policy gaps in the sector. With additional funding from the FCPF and the Liberia Forest Sector Project, Liberia is in the process of updating its National Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL), whilst at the same time setting up a National Monitoring and Verification System (MRV) and an institutional arrangement for the implementation of REDD+ in Liberia.

Liberia has the most significant area of the remaining Upper Guinean forest in West Africa. These forests appear to be facing acute eminent threat identified in Liberia’s National REDD+ Strategy. Forests are vital resources for the local population particularly in rural and forest dependent communities.

The two-day (August 29 - 30, 2019) dialogue witnessed expert presentations and panel discussion which focused on opportunities and potential REDD+ benefits for local communities and the economy, and as well financing opportunities for REDD+ in Liberia. During the event, Superintendents from Nimba, River-Gee and Sinoe used the occasion to call for a harmonized approach to benefit sharing from REDD+ with full involvement of the local Government Actors.

 

Reported By: Emmanuel Chedeh Davis