Via the Daily Observer: Liberia to Get US$150M from Norway. This is a welcome development on both environmental and public-health grounds. Excerpt:
The Norwegian and Liberian Governments have announced a US$150 million partnership that would benefit the latter.
The announcement was made Tuesday, September 23 at the UN Climate Summit in New York.
The partnership is geared toward putting a stop to the destruction and deforestation of Liberia’s rainforest.
A press statement issued by the forest watch dog, Global Witness Tuesday, hailed the partnership between Liberia and Norway as steps to Liberia’s forest development, growth and progress.
Accordingly, the deal foresees an end to new logging contracts, more scope for forest-dependent communities to manage their forests, and increase protected forest areas, Global Witness statement said.
As Liberia contends with a horrifying Ebola outbreak, this partnership would reduce incentives for Liberia to liquidate its forests for cash, and would help put the country’s shattered economy on a more sustainable path towards poverty reduction and environmental protection.
The agreement is part of Norway’s plan to help cut carbon emissions globally through preventing deforestation in an effort to reduce the impacts of climate change.
“Yesterday’s announcement by Liberia and Norway is momentous,” said Global Witness Director Patrick Alley. “For decades Liberia’s forests have been more of a curse than a blessing.
“The experiment to generate economic development through industrial scale logging has failed, with logging companies routinely logging illegally, skirting taxes, and causing huge damage to forests and forest communities.
"The proposed shift towards community management and conservation could be a profound reversal of that failed model.”
Liberia is home to 43 percent of the remaining Upper Guinean rainforest, which also covers parts of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.
It is estimated that one third of Liberia’s 4.3 million people live in the country’s forests with many more reliant on them.