In order to improve capacity and resilience against climate change, President George Weah has reaffirmed his support for the creation and implementation of an African carbon market. It can be recalled that the President proposed an African Carbon Market at COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021 as the foundation for a concerted effort to address climate change while exploiting the related prospects for the socio-economic development of the people.
President Weah reiterated the demand on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at the commencement of a two-day forum on climate resilience in Liberia at the EJS Ministerial Complex. He defined the event as a component of a national vision for managing the nation’s forests sustainably. He added that it is also a means for the nation to support international efforts to combat climate change while using carbon payments for regional and local development.
The president continued by urging Liberia and other nations in the region to collaborate with private industry and development partners to create and launch an African carbon market. According to him, the Liberia Forest and Climate Resilience Forum represent a significant turning point in the government’s coordinated efforts to advance the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) objectives through responsible forest management and climate finance. President Weah said his administration is especially interested in finding ways to fortify alliances and reaffirm pledges to maintain sustainable forest management in Liberia and boost climate resilience.
“The steps we are taking today as a government, with the support of our development partners, will not only help achieve socio-economic development in Liberia but will also help to save our planet,” the Liberian Leader said.
Mr. Weah claims that the Liberian government consistently demonstrates outstanding leadership in the fight against climate change. He declared that in 2021, “we were able to prepare a State of the Environment Report and a National Environmental Action Plan,” which had not been possible since 2006. President Weah said that the report will help shape future development policies and investment choices in important industries.
“Fundamental to all of this is the fact that, under our leadership, we now have in operation a comprehensive Land Rights Act, which harmonizes strongly with other existing natural resource management laws,” he told participants at the Forum.
TheLiberia Leader mentioned that Liberia is one of the major biodiversity hotspots in the world and that it preserves the majority of the remaining Upper Guinea Forest. In order to achieve the targets under national and international conservation obligations, the President claims that his government is actively establishing new Protected Areas in order to increase the network of existing protected areas. He said the project will increase the possibilities for ecotourism and produce more jobs for the local population. President Weah also disclosed that the government is strengthening local communities’ capacity to manage their forests, including formalizing land-use planning.
“We are improving policies and revising laws and regulations, for commercial forestry to be more sustainable. Of course, there are still challenges and issues, but we remain unrelenting in our efforts to deal with them. Sooner, rather than later, under my leadership, we will surmount these challenges in order to ensure that forest resources benefit all Liberians.”
Working with development partners, he said, Liberia has a very positive outlook on enhancing the governance of the forest sector and empowering communities that depend on the forest to create sustainable jobs and income-generating ventures. Liberia will continue to be devoted to the fight against climate change, President Weah promised, and would show this via its deeds. President Weah notably congratulated collaborators who, according to him, continue to support the growth of Liberia’s forest and environmental sectors. He expressed gratitude to those who still assist Liberia in raising funds to fulfill the obligations made by his administration in Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.
He expressed his gratitude in particular to the governments of Sweden, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the Kingdom of Norway. The World Bank, UNDP, FAO, and other agencies received praise from the President for what he called their crucial technical and financial help. The efforts of all national and international civil society organizations, according to Mr. Weah, have helped communities in Liberia over the years to exercise their rights and better organize for resource management.
Photo credit: Executive Mansion