A two-day conference on effective water resource management in the Mano River Union (MRU) countries began in Monrovia Monday, April 2, an MRU release has said.
The four countries in West Africa (Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone) share the former Upper Guinea forest ecosystem and 10 trans-boundary river basins belonging to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The four countries have received a Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Identification #4953 grant of US$ 6,970,000 for the implementation through International Union for Conservation of Nature Regional Coordinator Projected Areas Program (IUCN PACO) of the regional project “Ecosystem Conservation and Management International Water Resources Fund of the MRU,” according to the release.
This project, validated by the GEF Secretariat in December 2016 and approved by IUCN in February 2017, aims to strengthen the management of trans-boundary natural resources for sustainable ecological benefits and improved livelihoods for adjacent forest communities.
It supports local communities in the development of alternative means for income generation, which will lead to increased forest cover and its associated benefits at local and global levels (ecosystem services, biodiversity, carbon sinks).
Sierra Leone, La Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea have already completed their launch exercises. Liberia deferred its portion to April, in order to establish administrative structures on the ground.
The launch of the workshop in Liberia is, therefore, an important step in the implementation of the Mano project, because it is a forum where all stakeholders will be informed of the start of the project’s activities, with a reminder of the actions already taken.
The general objective is to inform the participants about the benefits, expected results of the project’s implementation and to plan the next course of action to be undertaken in FY1 (2018).
Forest Development Authority (FDA) managing director, C. Mike Doryen, will deliver the keynote address. It is expected that Mr. Doryen will thank the MRU for the International Water Resource Management project, but will ask the MRU at the same time to revamp the former MRU Forestry Training Institute, which is now named the “Forestry Training Institute” and is being singlehandedly sponsored by the Liberian government.
Abu Bakarr Tarawalie, Deputy Secretary General for the program, will be in attendance, along with a host of implementing partners, as well as other local and international NGOs (Non-governmental organizations).