The Program Specialist at the UNDP, Moses Massah, has applauded the Government of Liberia(GoL) and the UNFAO for the recent inventory of Liberia’s forest as well as all preparatory activities done under the Liberia Forest Sector Project implemented by the REDD+ implementation Unit at the FDA.
Mr. Massah also applauded the Government of Liberia for the submission and implementation of Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contribution which has enforced the commitment of securing the protection of 30 percent of Liberia’s forest and protected areas. He made these and other statements while serving as keynote speaker at the program marking International Day of the Forest held at the Fair Ground in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County held on Tuesday March 21, 2023.
He used the occasion to urge the Government and development partners to take remedial actions to increase good governance in forest sector, take positive actions to reduce the demand for charcoal in urban centers since charcoal production has become a major threat to forest conservation and undertake additional research to identify medicinal plants in the forests.
Mr. Massah further recommended the need for more investment in forest management and support for livelihoods of forest fringe communities. Mr. Massah disclosed that the UNDP has and continues to collaborate with other development partners to support sustainable forest management initiatives including the establishment of the Forest Lab and the National Climate and Forest forum recently held in Monrovia.
In special remark, FDA Managing Director C. Mike Doryen called on all Liberians to be evermore caring and loving for the forest, which he said represents our value, prestige and dignity as a nation and people. Mr. Doryen said it’s incumbent on all Liberians to take our own destiny in our hands by caring and loving for those golden heritage which God has endowed us as nation and people. He emphasized the unquestionable importance of the forest and all its priceless constituents. He used to occasion to lash at some partners whom he said are clandestinely bent on playing double standard games by appearing to be partners in the day but would elect to support black hands in the media behind the curtain to destroy the image of the FDA in the public glare when in fact the FDA remains engaged in the practices of the sustainable management of the forest under its 3cs doctrine. Mr. Doryen saluted and praised all Liberians for keeping at least 30 percent of their forest standing, something he said represents the pride and dignity of the country amongst other countries in the subregion, if not the whole world. He called for realistic and practical support towards the protection of the forest, as opposed to mere awareness creation. He thanked those partners who stand with FDA in the truest sense of the word to protect the forest.
It can be recalled that in a colorful fashion, Liberia, through the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and its collaborating partners, joined the rest of the world to observe Ithe day in line with the UN protocol. The program, also graced by key county officials, was preceded by a parade on the principal streets with several schools, cultural troops, civil society insitutions amongst others represented. Under the theme: “Forest & Health, A Path Way to Recovery and Wellbeing”, the occasion primarily bordered on creating awareness on the importance of the forest as far as mankind’s survivability is concerned.
At the indoor program, representatives of several conservation partners including UNDP, UNFAO, USAID, WCF, Conservation Works Activity, FFI, Civil Society, etc separately made remarks and underscored the social and economic benefits of the forest, especially at a time when its natural services to humanity can not be reemphasized.
International Day of Forests is observed annually on March 21 to celebrate forests and create awareness about the importance of the forests.
Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s landmass, performing vital functions around the world. Around 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihoods, medicines, fuel, food and shelter. Forests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than 80% of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Yet, despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues. As a global hub for environmental governance, Geneva and the organizations it hosts, plays a role in the protection of forests globally.