Participating countries adopt annual work plan
A two-day seminar on trans-boundary water resource management (WRM) in the Mano River Union (MRU) countries has ended in Monrovia with participants resolving to uphold the dignity of natural resources, water in particular, in the Mano River region, a release has said.
Under the theme, “Ecosystem Conservation and Management International Water Resources Fund of the MRU,” participants from the Mano River countries, including Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone promised to ensure that the project lives to see its genuine purpose for the overall benefit of the member countries and its citizens.
According to the release, participants endorsed the annual work plan and 2018 budget while adopting a resolution to abide by the terms of reference that would guide the project. The project, validated by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Secretariat in December, 2016, and approved by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in February, 2017, aims to strengthen the management of trans-boundary natural resources for sustainable ecological benefits and improved livelihoods for forest communities.
It supports local communities to develop alternative means in generating income, while at the same time increasing forest cover and its associated benefits at local and global levels.
Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director, C. Mike Doryen, commended the MRU countries for and on behalf of the Liberian government.
Doryen described the project as a far-reaching endeavor and hoped the MRU would restore all of its activities that were devastated by the war. He made specific reference to the Forestry Training Institute (FTI) located in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, which he said had represented a realistic dream of the MRU in the past, including the training of forest rangers and other human resource capacity building initiatives.
Mr. Doryen noted that as the need for the conservation of biodiversity becomes a matter of global concern, there was need for the MRU countries to prioritize the full restoration of the institute that it may be in the able position to train more forest rangers to replace the older ones who are being listed for retirement after long years of service. He told the participants that the Liberian government deeply supports biodiversity conversation efforts and will do all it can to promote the dream and aspiration of the project.
Endamana Dominique, IUCN representative for the regional office for Central and West Africa, thanked the administrative and technical authorities of Liberia for holding the first national meeting of the project, noting, “As a matter of principle, GEF projects are for the countries.”
Dominique reassured the legality, legitimacy, promotion and empowerment of local communities and women in line with the dictates of the project.
The national level multi-sector technical committee members (MTC) of Liberia charged with the responsibility to ensure the implementation of the project, include the FDA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Liberia Institute of Strategic and Geo-Information System (LISGIS), ministries of Lands, Mines and Energy, and Agriculture.
Others are Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCP), Liberia Maritime Authority, and the KFW/Conservation of biodiversity (Tai-Grebo-Sapo Complex. Some of the proposed institutions to drive the implementation of the project include Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL), the University of Liberia and World Resource Institute.