MRU Builds Capacity of National Actors in Transboundary Biodiversity

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Group photo of the participants at the MRU capacity building workshop

In its unwavering determination to safeguard transboundary waters and biodiversity in the sub-region, the Mano River Union (MRU) has successfully concluded a workshop this week in Monrovia aimed at building the capacities of national and local stakeholders to adequately understand the basic skill in the development of regional Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and the associated Strategic Action Plan (SAP).

The project, “Mano River Union Ecosystem Conservation and International Waters Resources Management Project,” is being implemented in the four MRU countries and basically aimed at strengthening the management of transboundary natural resources such as water resources, soils, and protected areas geared at reducing poverty and maximizing the preservation of the environment. The workshop was essentially aimed at sharpening the skills of the stakeholders on the ground because better water resource management in the Mano River basin requires a better and informed organization of local stakeholders, especially local leaders who do not have scientific knowledge of the working of nature and its significance.     

A release from the MRU indicates that pertinent issues exhaustively discussed at the workshop included Mano River Ecosystem conservation and International Waters Resources Management, Geophysical and socio-economic context of MRU space, General Outlook of the TDA and SAP processes, the Key Steps in Project Development and Implementation Processes, and Identification and Prioritization of transboundary problems. Other relevant issues that embodied the discussion were Identification and Prioritization of Transboundary Environmental problems within the MRU space.   

Liberia’s side of the participants at the workshop included representatives from the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), Ministries of Mines and Energy, Justice, Internal Affairs, Health, Gender and Children Protection, Finance and Development Planning and Agriculture. Others were Liberia Maritime Authority, University of Liberia, Tubman University, Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, Liberia Immigration Service, WASH Commission, National Fisheries Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), Liberia National Coast Guard and the National Legislature.

Earlier, the Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority, C. Mike Doyern officially opened the workshop and called for increased friendship and brotherliness on the part of citizens of the four MRU countries, something he said is the only therapy for the preservation and protection of our natural resources. He noted that “We, as neighbors, can only enjoy these natural resources which God has endowed us only if we unite under the umbrella of peace and unity and avoid the abuse of these resources.” He thanked the donor partners including the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and all partners for the interest in the protection of water resources and biodiversity in the Mao-Makona river basin.   

In his remarks, the Resident Coordinator of the MRU, Mr. Christian Jallah, thanked the development partners on behalf of MRU Secretary General Amb. Medina A. Wesseh Esq., and assured MRU’s unflinching support for the project he termed as internationally important for the sub-region. “We are here to support your efforts in ensuring that the planned objectives for this project are met. He wished the participants well in their deliberations and promised to convey the outcome of the workshop to the Secretary-General. At the end of the workshop, the attendees received certificates of participation.

The Mano River Union (MRU) is an intergovernmental organization composed of four West African countries. Established in 1973 by Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Union was joined in 1980 by Guinea and by Ivory Coast in 2008. Its main purpose is to promote regional cooperation and economic integration through the establishment of a common market and the strengthening of cooperation in all fields of economic activity, including trade, industry, transport and telecommunications, agriculture, natural resources, and monetary and financial affairs.

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