Liberia: RICCE Participates in National Dialogue on Nationally Determined Contributions with Focus on Forest

The Rural Integrated Center for Community Empowerment (RICCE) Tuesday February 27, 2024 participated in a one-day National Dialogue on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) with a focus on the forest target.

The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the core of the Paris Agreement (PA), under which 191 countries, including Liberia, committed to limit global warming to “well below 2 degrees above preindustrial levels,” and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. NDCs are the delivery mechanism to reach the PA goals and achieving the overall global greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation target, embodying efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Organized by the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL), the dialogue was held under the project titled “Climate Promise 2.0 leveraging on the impact of the Nationally Determined Contributions and Civil Society Council of Liberia (CSO).”

The one-day National Dialogue provided a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas, share experiences, and collaborate on strategies to overcome challenges and accelerate progress towards achieving Liberia’s climate goals outlined in the NDCs.

Representatives from 74 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including RICCE attended the dialogue, along with key players in the environmental sector, including the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and UNDP.

RICCE was represented at the dialogue by Anderson Keah, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. Mr. said it is imperative to enhance collaboration and coordination among government agencies, civil society organizations (CSOs), international partners, and other stakeholders involved in climate action.

The RICCE M& E Officer said “To effectively implement forestry-related NDC targets, there is a need to invest in capacity building initiatives for local communities, government officials, and CSOs. This includes providing training on sustainable forest management practices, carbon market mechanisms, and monitoring and evaluation techniques.”

Speaking at the program, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to Liberia, Louis Kuukpen) commended the contributions of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working in the environmental sector towards achieving the NDC targets. He underscored the importance of collaborative efforts between CSOs, government agencies, and international partners in addressing climate change.

Also speaking, the new Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director, Rudolph J. Merab reaffirmed the FDA’s commitment to collaborating with various CSOs in the forestry sector to meet the NDC forestry target. Delegates believe his statement is a demonstration of the FDA’s recognition of the vital role that CSOs play in forest conservation and sustainable management efforts.

At the same time, Octavius Kwabo who represented the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), restated FAO’s support for realizing the forestry NDC goals. He emphasized FAO’s role as the custodian of Sustainable Development Goal #15 “Life on Land” and its commitment to supporting actions resulting from consultative workshops. According to the delegates, this reaffirmed FAO’s dedication to promoting sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation efforts globally.

During the course of the program, there were various presentations that looked at Liberia’s NDC implementation plan, focusing on challenges and gaps. They also highlighted the importance of addressing barriers to effective implementation, such as limited resources, institutional capacity constraints, and coordination challenges among relevant stakeholders.

Other presenters looked at the Carbon Market and emphasized the need for Liberia to develop a framework defining forest carbon clearly. They underscored the potential benefits of participating in carbon markets to incentivize forest conservation and enhancing carbon sequestration efforts.

As part of enabling CSOs in NDC implementation, participants explored ways to empower Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to play a more active role in NDC implementation. Discussions at this stage centered on the importance of capacity building, providing access to resources and information, and fostering collaboration between CSOs and government agencies.

In tracking NDC targets and financing strategies, Madam Loretta Aletha Pope-Kai, Chairperson of the National Civil Society Council, led discussions on tracking NDC forestry targets and accessing information about NDC implementation. During this session, participants shared insights on how to overcome these obstacles and secure funding for climate action initiatives.

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