Pres. Weah wants African Carbon Market operationalized
…reiterates Liberia’s Commitment
President George Manneh Weah has renewed his advocacy for the establishment and operationalization of an African Carbon Market in order to help build and strengthen capacities and resilience against climate change.
It can be recalled that at COP 26 held in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021, the President 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 the people.
President Weah, renewing the call Thursday, February 2, 2023 at the opening of a two-day Liberia Forest and Climate Resilience Forum at the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, outside Monrovia, described the gathering as part of a national vision for managing the country’s forests in a sustainable way.
He said it is also the country’s way of contributing to global efforts to address climate change, while leveraging carbon payments for national and community development.
The President then reiterated his call for Liberia and other countries in the region to work together with development partners and the private sector to establish and operationalize an Africa Carbon Market.
He said the Liberia Forest and Climate Resilience Forum marks an important milestone in the government’s collective efforts to achieve the goals of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) through sustainable forest management and climate finance.
President Weah asserted that the government was particularly looking forward to how it 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,” the Liberian Leader said.
According to him, the Liberian Government is continuously providing strong leadership on climate change.
He announced that 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.”
President Weah added that the 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,” he told participants of the Forum.
He indicated how 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.
According to the President, his Government is currently creating new Protected Areas to expand the already existing protected area network, so as to “meet our targets under national and international conservation commitments.”
He emphasized that such initiative will boost the potential for ecotourism and create more jobs for our people.
President Weah also announced that the government is additionally developing the capacities of communities to manage their forests, including land-use planning and formalization.
He noted: “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.”
He said Liberia looks with a great deal of optimism, working with development partners, in improving governance of the forest sector and enabling forest-dependent communities to develop sustainable jobs and income-creation enterprises.
President Weah pledged that his government will remain committed, demonstrate through actions, that Liberia stands with the rest of the world in combating climate change.
President Weah specifically thanked partners who he said continue to contribute to the development of the forest and environmental sectors of Liberia.
He thanked those who continue to help Liberia mobilize resources to meet his administration’s commitments as captured in Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.
He particularly thanked the Kingdom of Norway, the United States Government, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the Government of Sweden.
The President also extended commendations to the World Bank, UNDP, FAO and other organizations for what he termed their invaluable technical and financial support.
Dr. Weah also recognized the efforts of all national and international civil society organizations who he said continue to help 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 though we know that there is a lot more that still needs to be done,” the Liberia Chief Executive said in closing.
Also addressing the Forum was World Bank Country Director Khwima Nthara who indicated that the forest sector has been identified as one possible pathway for helping countries reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity.
He said the World Bank’s mission in member countries is to help them achieve the twin goals of ending extreme poverty.
“In Liberia, these twin goals are very much aligned to the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development,” Mr. Nthara said.
The Liberia Forest and Climate Resilience Forum is organized by the Government of Liberia in collaboration with the World Bank and the Kingdom of Norway.