Duarzon, Lower Margibi County/02/07/2023: The Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) commends President George Weah for his announcement vowing to “work in improving forest governance in the country.”
As a natural resource and right-based organization, we listened to the statement by the Liberian leader during his 6th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, January 30, 2023, when he acknowledged the huge potential and associated benefits of the Liberian forest.
We call on the Liberian chief executive to muster the political will by taking serious administrative and practical steps, especially toward the forest sector of the country.
Announcing his vision to make the international community to enhance Liberia's potential of being a carbon sink for the world in reference to our huge forest reserves is good, but we want this vision to be translated into actions.
One of the ways is expanding Liberia’s protected areas and demonstrating real political will by discouraging illegal logging and reinforcing transparency and accountability in commercial logging.
Additionally, ensure that communities affected by commercial logging in the country get their just benefits as they continue to cry. Ensuring that they get their US$2.7 million appropriated in the 2022 National Budget and over US$6 million arrears community share of land rental fees must be reflected in the 2023 National Budget in order to demonstrate concrete commitment.
As a right-based and natural resource organization, we can clearly state that Liberia as a country has made little progress in these areas and that it is now time the Government becomes intentional and decisive.
Improving the governance toward a more effective management of Liberia’s forest sector will require practical steps rather than lofty speeches. We look forward to the Weah Government igniting concrete steps toward its commitment in the next eleven months.