A special envoy from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, Hans Brattskar on Tuesday, 29th March 2022, paid a courtesy call on Professor Wilson K. Tarpeh, Executive Director of Liberia Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Ambassador Brattskar was accompanied by Arild Skedsmo, Project Lead on the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP). The LFSP seeks to improved management of, and increased benefit-sharing in, targeted forest landscapes.
In a welcome statement, EPA Executive Director, Prof. Tarpeh provided a fair appreciation of the project and said the LFSP has been helpful. “Although the project experienced some hiccups due to COVID 19, the LFSP was successful and we look to second phrase with additional support” he pleaded.
“Awareness and capacity development for technicians at both the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and EPA are needed to help the country fight depletion of its forest. Against this, we will like to continuously work with you.”
In response, Ambassador Brattskar lauded Prof. Tarpeh for the level of work done. Speaking further, he disclosed that this being in country is to take stock of the project that is intended to help Liberia reduce deforestation but noted that the project expires in June 2023.
“We are also working in various part of the world through non-governmental organizations”. According to him, Liberia is the only bilateral program they currently have in West Africa because, the country is blessed with 40 percent of the remaining upper Guinea Rain Forest.
Ambassador Brattskar agrees with Prof. Tarpeh that a lot of awareness and capacity development of the FDA and EPA are needed to help the country fight depletion of its forest.
He also supported Prof. Tarpeh’s assertion that the provision of alternative and sustained sources of livelihood are necessary to curb residents’ dependent on forest and forest resources and products.
In brief remarks, Arild Skedsmo, Project Lead on the LFSP disclosed that project direct budgetary supports have been provided to the Government of Liberia, to help curb commercial logging in a bid to give government needed support in protection of its rich biodiversity.
The Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP) is a USD37.5 million grant-financed projects supported by the Government of Norway via a World Bank-managed Trust Fund. The project development objectives of Forest Sector Project for Liberia improved management of, and increased benefit-sharing in, targeted forest landscapes.