SCNL Attends Liberia’s Forest and Climate Resilience Forum

Finding new ways to tackle climate change…while protecting the environment

Globally, tackling climate change is now becoming essential; while seeking to keep the ecosystem intact.  President George M. Weah has initiated efforts leading to Liberia’s forest and Climate change Resilience forum where national, international, and developmental partners sat to discuss forest-related issues and other cross-cutting Ideas.

On the 2nd and 3rd of February 2023, the Government of Liberia, with the support of the Government of Norway and the World Bank organized a high-level Forest and Climate Resilience Forum, with the specific purpose to catalyze renewed commitments to strengthen partnerships in sustainable forest management as a key strategy supporting the President of Liberia’s pro-poor agenda for Prosperity and Economic Development (PAPD).    

The Forum provided a platform for high-level stakeholders to discuss key areas of progress, challenges, and next steps in the forest sector, using local and regional examples. It highlighted and showcase Liberia’s progress in forest and climate resilience policy, and tangible successes on the ground in relation to sustainable forest management, community forestry, and conservation forestry, among others. The Forum also explored lessons learned from other parts of the world and regionally regarding sustainable forest management, to inform future development of the sector in Liberia. This ultimately provided possibilities for the next steps in advancing forestry together with livelihoods, agriculture, climate resilience, and infrastructure.

The main objective of the Forest and Climate Resilience Forum is to catalyze partnerships and renew political commitments and broad interest at the highest level in sustainable forest management as a key strategy supporting the Liberia pro-poor agenda for economic development. The Forum presented an opportunity to take stock of policies and interventions, deepen understanding of forests’ multi-sector roles, generate ideas towards meeting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) from COP26, and reconfirm commitments to work with partners and share knowledge in the context of natural resources management driven by comprehensive and scientific approaches to achieve sustainability in shared objectives.

During the forum, remarks were made from key dignitaries: Mr. Hans Brattskar, Special Envoy on Climate Change, Mr. Khwima Nthara, Country Manager for Liberia-World Bank, and Hon. Samuel Tweh, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Liberia. In Minister Tweh’s statement, he expressed gratitude to partners and stakeholders for their efforts in protecting the forest of Liberia. “let’s summon our highest political, strongest capacity, and coordination across agencies to improve forest governance,” he said. 

Lastly, President Weah, in a special statement, said the carbon market is a considerate effort associated with the opportunity for the social economic benefit of the people of Liberia.  He also said, he is looking forward to discussing the way forward, strengthening partnerships, and renewing his commitment to ensuring sustainable forest management in Liberia and enhancing climate resilience.

The Liberian leader emphasized that the forum was a part of Liberia’s national vision to manage its forest in a sustainable way, contributing to local efforts to address climate change while leveraging carbon payment to national and community development. “Sooner than later, we will surmount the challenges faced in order to ensure forest resources benefit all Liberians. As we continue to work with our development partners, we will remain committed and stand with the rest of the world in combating climate change, this is a pledge,” he said.

Hon. Wilson K. Tarpeh, Executive Director, EPA, Liberia, spoke on creating the enabling environment for climate resilience in Liberia, Mr. Richard Damania, Chief Economist, Sustainable Development Practice Group, the World Bank; presented on maximizing carbon sequestration: How to create a resource efficiency frontier for Liberia, and Madam Loretta Alethea Pop Kai, Chairperson, National Civil Society Council of Liberia: CSO’s calls for attention to finance adaptation and forest communities.