Participants at yesterday’s opening session of the retreat.A group comprising of state and non-state actors under the banner of the REDD+ Technical Working Group (RTWG) are convening in Ganta, Nimba County, to restructure its term of reference (ToR), to enable the RTWG effectively perform its leadership role in the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation process in the country, a release said.The 3-day retreat runs from July 12 to 13, 2018. REED+ is the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It is an effort to create a financial value for carbon stored in forests. It offers incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon path to sustainable development.Deforestation and forest degradation are the second leading cause of global warming responsible for about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which makes the loss and depletion of forests a major issue for climate change.Liberia has developed its REDD+ strategy and is accelerating the implementation of remaining REDD+ readiness activities.RTWG was established in 2009 with the aim of leading REDD+ policy coordination among different stakeholders across the country, to support achievement of the goal of the REDD+ process in Liberia.According to the release, the group significantly contributed to the drafting of the Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP), preparation and submission of Liberia’s Readiness Plan Idea Note (R-PIN) and the development of Liberia’s National REDD+ and several other REDD+ policy initiatives.Urias Goll, a facilitator, said that the retreat is a follow-up to last December’s meeting in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, which proposed the revising of the organization’s ToR, so that it reflects the kind of technical policy coordination support needed in this phase of Liberia’s REDD+ process.Goll said that the forum will review proposals on revisions needed in the group’s ToR as well as review proposals on the restructured membership of the organization, to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are involved.Although the RTWG was established nine years ago, Goll said that the group has up to yesterday not been active, “and so the retreat seeks to revamp the organization.” Mr. Goll is the former executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).He said that the retreat would also help the group’s members share experiences and improve the working modalities of the RTWG.According to him, it has been nine years since the RTWG was formed, and Liberia has achieved a lot since then in its REDD+ Readiness process, especially with the National REDD+ Strategy now developed.United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Person, Benjamin S. Karmorh, said there shouldn’t be any reason why REDD+ process cannot work in Liberia when it is working in other nations.He stressed the need for sustainable harvesting of Liberia’s natural resources and noted that the country is rich but its people are poor.Mr. Karmorh underscored the need for benefit sharing and said, “If we ask the people to keep their forest they need to get some incentives for not harvesting their forest.”Members of Liberia’s forest communities depend on the forest for livelihood.Forests are used for bush-meat hunting and the harvesting of medicinal plants and local construction materials, among others, by local communities.On behalf of EPA’s Executive Director, Nathaniel Blama, Mr. Karmorh assured the agency’s support to the RTWG.Liberia REDD+ Coordinator, Saah A. David, Jr., said the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) remains committed to the working of the RTWG and promised that the FDA remains supportive of the group’s work.David assured that the country’s forest will not only be used for logging activities, but will also be used to benefit the people of forest communities and the country at large.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The government does face international criticism, though. The United Nations, under pressure from the Bush administration and European leaders, is sending a special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, to Myanmar, which agreed to allow him to visit after China intervened, officials said. In a meeting on Thursday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confronted a midlevel Burmese diplomat, according to officials who were present, telling him it was “bizarre” that he was defending his government while pictures emerged of troops shooting unarmed monks. On Friday, Rice expressed disappointment that the U.N. Security Council could not act more forcefully, largely because of opposition from China. “I will say on Burma that given what is going on in the streets in Rangoon, I would have hope that the Security Council would have taken stronger action,” Rice said in New York, referring to the country’s capital by its alternate name. U.S. policy does not recognize the military government’s decision to change the country’s name to Myanmar and continues to refer to it as Burma.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Another senior official said the administration would try to persuade China to offer sanctuary to the leaders of the junta, in the hope that this would encourage them to leave Myanmar. Other ideas include getting China and India to halt investment in new oil and gas projects, cutting off bank lending in places like Singapore to freeze Burmese accounts. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing internal policy deliberations. Many of the techniques are modeled on the sanctions designed against North Korea. Officials were surprised at how quickly banks ceased dealing with that country as soon as they realized it could affect their access to the American banking system. “International institutions take our list seriously,” one of the officials said, referring to banks. The official added, “They quickly realize the downside of dealing with these people is greater than the upside.” At least for the moment, officials said, the junta leaders appeared to be gaining some ground over the protesters, cutting off their access to the Internet, so that photographs and video of the street confrontations would not circulate around the world. WASHINGTON – The Bush administration stepped up its confrontation with the ruling junta in Myanmar on Friday, and officials said they were searching for ways to persuade China and other nations to cut off lending, investment and trade into the country. But in a sign of how limited Washington’s leverage is against the country, which has long been the target of U.S. sanctions, officials said they were concerned that China, a trading partner and neighbor of Myanmar, would block any serious effort to destabilize the Burmese government. The administration appears to regard the violent crackdown on Burmese monks as a long-hoped-for opportunity to get other Southeast Asian nations to rethink their insistence that they should not interfere with the internal politics of their neighbors. The hope is that U.S. pressure might force the leaders of the ruling junta into a political process that would drive them from power, if not from the country. “What we are trying to do is speed their demise,” said one senior U.S. official. “The question is, do we have the diplomatic and economic influence to hit a bank shot here,” by persuading Beijing, in particular, that its dealings with Myanmar could embarrass it as the 2008 Olympics approach.