Remarks by James Monibah head of UNDP Liberia governance pillar at an appraisal committee meeting for a forest management project

July 22, 2022

James Monibah is head of the governance pillar at UNDP Liberia

UNDP Liberia

Hon. Augustus J. Flomo, Deputy Minister for Economic Management, MFDP-Chair

Hon. C. Mike Doryen, Managing Director, Forestry Development Authority

Mehnaz Ajmal, FAO Representative a.i

Mr. Urban Sjöström-Ambassador of Sweden

Madam Loretta Alethea Pope Kai- National Civil Society Council of Liberia

Other staff and officials of FDA present

Ladies and gentlemen.

Let me acknowledge and applaud the existing partnership and collaboration between the UNDP and Embassy of Sweden in supporting Liberia’s development goals, the Government of Liberia, under the administration of H.E President George Manneh Weah, for its commitment and efforts to support sustainable forest management and the Forestry Development Authority for their cooperation and support in developing the Community-Based Forestry and Protected Area Management project under the leadership of Hon. C. Mike Doryen.

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, the forest of Liberia beyond its biodiversity significance and contribution to mitigating climate change, providing income and livelihoods for rural populations, particularly the forest-dependent communities. The forestry sector produces essential products and services which the rural poor depend on.

Yet, despite their critical importance, the forest continues to be under enormous threat with several hectares of natural forest converted to other land uses, including large-scale commercial agriculture and logging, chainsaw milling and slash and burn agriculture.

Forests are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of environmental degradation, ecosystem fragmentation and climate change. Sustainably managed forests help to build resilient economies capable of withstanding pandemics, while at the same time protecting biodiversity and combatting climate change.

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, the global vision and plan of action for forests and people are enshrined in the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2030. This is fully aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through its Global Forest Goals and associated targets. To realize this vision, it is important that we aim to strike a balance between economic growth, social progress, and environmental sustainability. This means we should seek to conserve our biodiversity and protect the environment without compromising the livelihoods of the people who depend on forests. 

This project is inspired by the vision of UNDP, FAO and the Embassy of Sweden to work with the Government of Liberia and other partners to ensure that forest protection is conducted in ways that are inclusive and involves local communities in co-managing forests. Our aim is to also ensure that communities can derive economic benefits through sustainable alternative livelihood options such as promotion of non-timber forest enterprises, climate-smart farming, and agroforestry. This, we believe, will improve the living conditions of the people, and provide economic incentives for community-driven forest conservation in Liberia. 

Ladies and gentlemen, as we convene today for the purpose of formally presenting this project as well as the signing of the project document, I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to work with you all in this process and look forward to a rewarding and successful impact of the programme over the next 5 years

I want to conclude by highlighting that the success and effectiveness of this Project will largely depend on the quality of partnerships forged and sustained amongst and between the different stakeholders involved in this project, including the government of Liberia, NGOs and the private sector.

May I take this opportunity to reaffirm UNDP’s support to the Government of Liberia to sustainably manage the forestry sector in Liberia, which together with the UN system, is fully committed to encourage solutions-driven partnerships for achieving the sustainable development goals.


I thank you!