The Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA), a component of the Reduce Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), has ended a three-day capacity building workshop for the SESA working group in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
The SESA is coordinated by Mr. Zinnah Mulbah at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) coordinates the remaining programs.
According to a release, these programs include the National REDD Strategy Option Consultation, National Reference Scenario; REDD Communication Strategy and Information Sharing, Liberia Land Cover and Forest Mapping, Feedback and Grievance Redress Mechanism.
At ceremonies marking the opening and closing of the workshop, REDD+ National Coordinator at the FDA, Saah David, on behalf of FDA Managing Director, Harrison Karnwea, said the various components of REDD+ will continue to organize and bring together groups to discuss what he called “sticky issues” aimed at moving the REDD program forward in Liberia.
Mr. David then called on participants to take ownership of what they planned and do with commitment to achieve their goals.
The REDD+ program is eager for Liberia to have a specific definition for the word “FOREST” and noted that a few weeks from now experts will be invited to come up with a specific definition of forest for Liberia that will suit the unique forest cover area in the country.
On behalf of EPA Executive Director, Madam Anyaa Vohiri, the National Climate Change Focal point at the EPA, Benjamin Karmorh, said the entity attaches great importance to the SESA process, “because it is more of consultation where the people themselves decide the way forward.”
Mr. Karmorh disclosed that the REDD+ is a new, innovative mechanism which the REDD program at FDA is responsible for implementing to convince policy-makers and forest users about the benefits Liberia stands to gain.
He expressed gratitude to organizers of the workshop and assured them that the doors of the EPA remain open for collaboration between the FDA and EPA to ensure that the right programs are implemented for the good of the nation.
In his remarks, the head of the climate change secretariat in Liberia, Jeremiah Sokan, said the REDD+ program being implemented through the FDA and EPA is Liberia’s contribution to the world to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emission that leads to global warming.
The essence of the program is to ensure that the global temperature does not reach or exceed the dangerous line, cautioned Mr. Karmorh.
He commended organizers of the workshop and encouraged them to continue similar initiatives at the level that the population will understand what REDD+ is all about.
Earlier, a representative of the civil society of Liberia, Francis Colee of Green Advocates said the issue of the stability of what he termed the “3 Cs”-commercial, conservation and community, is vital.
He said the stability of one is the stability of all and must not be overlooked. He also wants the issue of benefits sharing prioritized and communities given more preference.
The SESA working group comprises government ministries and agencies, civil society, environmental NGOs and women’s organizations.
Meanwhile, the interactive training workshop discussed among other topics, using REDD+ as climate change mitigation, overview of safeguard approaches, update on the SESA and REDD processes in Liberia, safeguarding gender equity in REDD+, understanding the application of free, prior and informed consent.