Foreign Minister of Liberia, Augustine K. Ngafuan
Liberia, Norway In US$150m Climate, Forest Partnership
MONROVIA, September 23 (LINA) - Liberia and Norway Tuesday entered into a partnership to improve forest governance, strengthen law enforcement and support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Liberia.
The partnership aims at facilitating green growth through the development of a deforestation free agricultural sector in the country.
Norway will support Liberia’s efforts with up to$150 million until 2020, said a dispatch sent to the Liberia News Agency.
The partnership was announced at a joint press conference held by the Foreign Minister of Liberia, Augustine K. Ngafuan and the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg at the UN Headquarters in New York, on Tuesday, September 23.
“Particularly at this difficult time, we are proud and happy to enter into this partnership with Norway, further consolidating our decision to embark on a green, sustainable development path. We believe this partnership will have a great impact on our ability to fight climate change, secure our valuable natural resources and provide a living for the Liberian people,” stated President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
By ensuring adequate law enforcement in the forest sector to avoid illegal and unsustainable logging, and by establishing a public-private coalition with multilateral companies committed to ambitious zero deforestation policies, Liberia plans over time to significantly reduce carbon emissions related to deforestation and forest degradation while building an increasingly effective,
productive and modern agricultural sector.
“I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the people of Liberia in this difficult time. We fully appreciate that the main focus at present is the safety and wellbeing of the Liberian people. In a long-term perspective, I believe Liberia has the potential to be a great example for other countries in the region on how to work with the private sector to achieve economic growth without deforestation
and forest degradation. Liberia’s commitments should be commended, and
we are proud to support their efforts”, said Norway’s Prime Minister,
The Liberian forest is under pressure from both commercial logging and chainsaw logging for local markets; shifting cultivation; the clearing of forest for permanent agriculture and charcoal production.
Liberia holds 43 percent of the remaining Upper Guinea forests of West Africa.
In addition to important climate benefits connected to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving Liberia’s forest is also of great importance for several other reasons.
The forests’ biological diversity encompasses the last long-term viable populations of several endemic species including the Western Chimpanzees, forest elephants and leopards.
Also the rare zebra duiker and pygmy hippopotamus, in addition to over 2000 flowering plants and 225 commercial timber species, are to be found in the Liberian rainforest.
The country is listed as one of 34 global biodiversity hotspots.
“This partnership holds promise not only for the forest and climate; but for forest communities that have been marginalized for generations. The partnership’s commitment to respecting and protecting communities rights with respect to forests is laudable”, said Silas Siakor, a Liberian environmental campaigner and Goldman Environmental Prize laureate.