A group comprising of state and non-state actors under the banner of the REDD+ Technical Working Group (RTWG) are convening in Ganta, Nimba County, to restructure its term of reference (ToR), to enable the RTWG effectively perform its leadership role in the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation process in the country, a release said.
The 3-day retreat runs from July 12 to 13, 2018. REED+ is the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It is an effort to create a financial value for carbon stored in forests. It offers incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon path to sustainable development.
Deforestation and forest degradation are the second leading cause of global warming responsible for about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which makes the loss and depletion of forests a major issue for climate change.
Liberia has developed its REDD+ strategy and is accelerating the implementation of remaining REDD+ readiness activities.
RTWG was established in 2009 with the aim of leading REDD+ policy coordination among different stakeholders across the country, to support achievement of the goal of the REDD+ process in Liberia.
According to the release, the group significantly contributed to the drafting of the Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP), preparation and submission of Liberia’s Readiness Plan Idea Note (R-PIN) and the development of Liberia’s National REDD+ and several other REDD+ policy initiatives.
Urias Goll, a facilitator, said that the retreat is a follow-up to last December’s meeting in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, which proposed the revising of the organization’s ToR, so that it reflects the kind of technical policy coordination support needed in this phase of Liberia’s REDD+ process.
Goll said that the forum will review proposals on revisions needed in the group’s ToR as well as review proposals on the restructured membership of the organization, to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are involved.
Although the RTWG was established nine years ago, Goll said that the group has up to yesterday not been active, “and so the retreat seeks to revamp the organization.” Mr. Goll is the former executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
He said that the retreat would also help the group’s members share experiences and improve the working modalities of the RTWG.
According to him, it has been nine years since the RTWG was formed, and Liberia has achieved a lot since then in its REDD+ Readiness process, especially with the National REDD+ Strategy now developed.
United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Person, Benjamin S. Karmorh, said there shouldn’t be any reason why REDD+ process cannot work in Liberia when it is working in other nations.
He stressed the need for sustainable harvesting of Liberia’s natural resources and noted that the country is rich but its people are poor.
Mr. Karmorh underscored the need for benefit sharing and said, “If we ask the people to keep their forest they need to get some incentives for not harvesting their forest.”
Members of Liberia’s forest communities depend on the forest for livelihood.
Forests are used for bush-meat hunting and the harvesting of medicinal plants and local construction materials, among others, by local communities.
On behalf of EPA’s Executive Director, Nathaniel Blama, Mr. Karmorh assured the agency’s support to the RTWG.
Liberia REDD+ Coordinator, Saah A. David, Jr., said the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) remains committed to the working of the RTWG and promised that the FDA remains supportive of the group’s work.
David assured that the country’s forest will not only be used for logging activities, but will also be used to benefit the people of forest communities and the country at large.