-- Sets up platforms to manage transboundary water resources, forest landscape
The Mano River Union (MRU), in concert with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), funded by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Global Ecosystem Facility (GEF), has concluded two strategic regional workshops held in Sanniquellie, Nimba County from October 4-7 2021.
These meetings respectively saw the establishments of the Transboundary water resources management committee for the Cavalla River basin under the Bridge Project and the establishment of the platform to manage the Mounts Nimba and Diecke landscape between Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Liberia under the Mano River Union Ecosystem Conservation and International Water Resources project.
For the management of the Mounts Nimba and Diecke landscape, Guinea was elected as president, Ivory Coast as vice president, and Liberia secretary.
As For the management of the Cavalla River basin, Ivory Coast won the presidency, Guinea vice presidency while the host country Liberia, emerged as secretary-general in a completive, free, and fair democratic election.
The established platform for the management of the Mounts Nimba and Diecke landscape is to ensure synergy in forest landscape restoration interventions under the GEF Mano-IUCN project, exchange experiences on good practices, make recommendations to local communities, mobilize stakeholders in the forest resources sector for concerted management of the Mounts Nimba and Diecke landscape and contribute to building the capacities of stakeholders in the concerted management of the Mounts Nimba and Diecke landscape.
The established management committee for the Cavalla River basin, among other things, is charged with the responsibility to bring together actors from concerted national portions as an ideal consultation framework to prevent potential conflicts as well as open conflict resolution.
The committee, in line with its terms of reference, is expected to share information related to water usage and ensure the effective preservation and restoration of water resources in the concerned space.
These two occasions were respectively graced by high-profile personalities from the three countries (Liberia, Guinea, and Ivory Coast), local government officials as well as representatives from the MRU and the IUCN.
During the official opening ceremony, FDA Managing Director C. Mike Doreen, who is also the overall chief of the chiefs of the MRU delegation expressed delight over the efforts being exerted by the MRU, GEF and the IUCN, and other collaborating partners in ensuring that what nature has blessed us is protected against illegal activities and encroachments.
The FDA boss used the occasion to report to the body progress being made thus far by the FDA in its capacity as National Executing Agency (NEA) of the MRU Ecosystem Project (IWRM) in Liberia.
He said the FDA has established four (4) Local Consultative Committees (LCCs) within the project’s intervention areas and two Local Water Basin Committees (LWBCs), the establishment of (4) of Protected Area Local Consultative Committees (LCCs) including Community Forest Management Committee (CFMC) of Wonegizi, Gbar & ENNR Local Consultative Committee (GELCC).
The Gola Forest National Park Monitoring Committee (GFNPMC) and the Grebo-Krahn & Sapo National Park Monitoring Committee, among others, are developing from the FDA end thus far.
He lauded the conveners and sponsors of the meetings (MRU, IUCN) and hoped the participants will do all in their power to ensure that the desired results are accomplished.
Mr. Doryen said it is about time the three countries come together more closely to protect the lives of these treasures for the benefit of today and future generations.
For his part, MRU Program Officer, Abdoulaye Doumbia conveyed heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the participants on behalf of MRU Secretary-General Amb. Medina Wesseh and urged them to take full charge of the implementation of those protocols about the management of the Cavalla river Mounts Nimba and Diecke landscape, respectively.
He encouraged the platform members to be resourceful in their duties for the benefit of the three countries.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Nimba Forest Forum, Joseph Torlon, who represented the office of Nimba County Superintendent, challenged the platform members to elect to work assiduously to promote the integrity of their respective countries.
He admonished them to set good examples by being agents of conflict resolution so that peace and harmony can always be the order of the day within the Transboundary areas.
He lauded the MRU for coming closer to the common people at this time when the need to police the water resources and Transboundary forest landscape cannot be overstated.