Technical managers and environmental groups from Liberia and the Ivory Coast have ended a two day conference on biodiversity with specific reference to national parks of the two countries.
The West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WA BiCC) is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded five year regional program that aims to improve conservation, climate resilience and low emissions in the West African region.
The WA BiCC works to strengthen policies and regional capacity to improve natural resource management and maintain healthy, resilient forest ecosystems and forest based livelihoods in West Africa.
The two-day conference brought together key executives from the forestry sectors of the two Mano River Union (MRU) countries in Monrovia.
Speaking at the Fourth Steering Committee meeting in Monrovia on Monday, Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director Darlington Tuagbean said the FDA and partners have flagged the proposed Grebo/Krahn National Park (PGKNP) boundary line in River Gee County.
Mr Tuagbean disclosed that the final shape of the proposed boundary line for the GreboKrahn National Park has been developed by the FDA and World Conservation Fund and is available at the FDA GIS Division.
In compliance with the National Forest Reform Law of 2006, Director Tuagbean added that community and regional level consultations were required.
He also explained that regional consultations were held around the PGKNP to validate the creation and the boundary line after two previous regional consultations.
Director Tuagbean pointed out that the aim of the meeting was to update county level officials on the work of FDA, WCF and Ambero and GIZ and solicit the mandate of the county officials to validate the creation of the park.
He noted that WCF identified the KrahnBassa National Forest as a conservation priority area and the FDA requested WCF to begin the baseline work for the creation of that protected area.
The FDA head also intimated that the Liberian government is committed to conserving 30% of its remaining forest cover and reminded the gathering that several proposed protected forest areas have been earmarked for establishment since the end of the civil conflict.
He further noted that the Sapo National Park was already established and needs to have contiguous protected areas to allow the free movement of animals from one forest to another.
The FDA Managing Director added that Tai Forest in the Ivory Coast was seen as an ideal forest that could be joined to have transboundary conservation initiative.
Director Tuagbean added that the Liberian government tries to achieve the management of the Tai Grebo Sapo Forest Complex through dynamic strategies and interventions.
He, however, stressed that such initiatives could only be realized through international support which is very crucial to meeting ambitious commitments that Liberia made at several conventions.
Director Tuagbean noted that during the last three steering committee meetings, an urgent action matrix was prepared and reported upon, which defines the agreed action points and responsibilities of steering committee members.
At the end of the Fourth Biodiversity Meeting on Tuesday, a draft document was issued to all institutions that were part of the discussions for their perusals and inputs in order to produce a final document of the agreement.