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Government of Liberia, FAO launch final national forest inventory campaign in Bong and G/Bassa

Enumerators at the launched of the National Forest Inventory. ©FAO/Liberia

1 August 2019, Monrovia- To strengthen Liberia’s preparedness to sustainably manage its natural resources for better income generating opportunities, the Government of Liberia with support from the World Bank, the Government of Norway and technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has simultaneously launched the final phase of the national forest inventory (NFI) in the two remaining counties, Bong and Grand Bassa.

The endeavor by the Government of Liberia through the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) is within the framework of Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and the sustainable management of forest, the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks funded by the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the Government of Norway.

It can be recalled that in June 2018, the NFI was first launched in Voinjama, Lofa County subsequently extending to 13 out of the 15 counties of Liberia with the goal of taking stock of the forest resources of Liberia.

Professional enumerators from the Forest Training Institute (FTI), University of Liberia (UL) and FDA who were trained in the NFI methodology are now deployed in Bong and Grand Bassa Counties to enumerate approximately 47 clusters with the technical supervision of FAO Forest Expert.

According to FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015, 43% of Liberia is covered with forests. The biodiversity of the Liberia forests is rich with endemic species. A large proportion of the country’s rural population dependent on forests for their livelihoods. Therefore, the NFI becomes an important tool in monitoring land use changes to gather data that will help policy makers in making informed decisions as it relates to revenues, livelihood whilst at the sometime ensuring that development strategies consider emissions reduction.

Mr. Saah A. David, Jr., National REDD+ Coordinator informed the gathering that in 2014 Liberia secured additional grant from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank and in September of the same year signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Government of Norway to continue with the preparation and implementation of REDD+ activities in Liberia.

He said the NFI is intended to identify the different type of species in the forest, adding that “The data will be collected in term of forest degradation and deforestation that should help Liberia determine its national forest reference emission level using in country data that will serve as a baseline to be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).”

Presenting certificates during the programs, FAO Representative in Liberia, Madam Mariatou Njie said FAO continues to offer countries assistance in building capacities in monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas, emissions and in developing robust national forest monitoring systems for REDD+ which simultaneously meet broader monitoring needs for sustainable development.

She added that the REDD+ is intended to encourage developing countries to contribute to climate change mitigation efforts by, “Reducing greenhouse gas emission (GHG) by slowing, halting and reversing forest loss and degradation and increasing removal of GHGs from the earth’s atmosphere through the conservation, management and expansion of forests.”

In remarks, both the Superintendent of Bong and Grand Bassa Counties assured the FDA and partners of their fullest cooperation to the process as the NFI teams move into the communities and villages.

Meanwhile, at the close of the both event, certificates of recognition where awarded to the NFI team members for their valuable contributions in assisting Liberia sustainable managed its forest.