The Government of Liberia through the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) over the weekend completed a one-day validation session for the National Forest Reference Emission Level of Liberia-( FREL) in Monrovia.
The one-day session was held in the framework of the project “Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation-REDD+ funded by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank.
The overarching objective of the global initiative is to encourage developing and forested countries to contribute to climate change mitigation efforts by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) through slowing, halting and reversing forest loss and degradation; and increasing removal of GHG from the earth’s atmosphere through the conservation, management, and expansion of forests.
With support from the Government of Norway and the World Bank, a National Forest Monitoring System will be established in Liberia. Simultaneous to the development of this system, there is a need to qualify the emissions associated with land use changes through a Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL).
The Forest Reference Emissions Level will be used to develop a baseline for monitoring REDD+ activities and their associated emissions reductions.
To participate in REDD+, countries must develop a Forest Reference Emission Level and/or Forest Reference Level. These are benchmarks for assessing payment for performance in implementing REDD+ activities.
The one-day event provided an update on the REDD+ activities and also an overview of REDD+ activities in Liberia and the role of the FREL. The draft FREL and timeline was presented to participants during the meeting.
The FREL validation targeted 18 participants drawn from various government agencies, including the FDA, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services-LISGIS, Environmental Protection Agency-EPA, Liberia Land Authority-LLA, the Forest Training Institute-FTI and the University of Liberia.
According to FAO Country Representative in Liberia, Ms. Mariatou Njie, reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation, plus the sustainable management of forests, and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+), is an essential part of the global efforts to mitigate climate change.
She added that FAO supports developing countries in their REDD+ processes and in turning their political commitments, as represented in their nationally determined contribution, into action on the ground.
She noted “It is estimated that globally, deforestation and forest degradation account for around 11 percent of CO2 emissions. Halting deforestation is a cost-effective action that has a clear impact in reducing global greenhouse gas. FAO support also helps countries during the later implementation phase of REDD+”.
C. Mike Doryen, FDA Managing Director promised the FDA’s commitment in working with her partners, including the FAO, World Bank, the Government of Norway etc to improve Liberia’s forest sector.
Mr. Doryen recalled the longstanding partnership between the FAO and the Forestry Development Authority, adding that the project will reduce forest deforestation, forest degradation and enhance carbon stocks in forests while advancing national development.