Pres. Weah Launches Two New National Parks – leads array of gov’t officials and foreign diplomats to the historic event

Monrovia, LIBERIA– The Liberian leader George Manneh Weah is expected to officially launch two new national parks established by Acts of the 53rd National Legislature in September 2016 and August 2017, respectively. The launch of the Grebo-Krahn and Gola national parks takes place tomorrow at the Monrovia City Hall. The Grebo-Krahn National Park in the Southeast and the Gola Forest National Park in the Northwest are part of Liberia’s proud natural heritage, which makes her the most forested country in the sub-region.

The establishment of the two national parks demonstrates Liberia’s commitment to biodiversity conservation and is consistent with the National Forestry Reform Law (2006) and international best practices and protocols. These parks were created following extensive consultations and with the host communities.

A release from the Forestry Development Authority says given the historic nature of this occasion, the President will lead Ministers, senior government officials, representatives of foreign missions and conservation NGOs operating in the country to grace the event. The event follows those at the regional level in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh and SLC Camp, Gbarpolu Counties on April 14, 2018 and April 18, 2018, respectively.

Through the 2006 National Forestry Reform Law, the Liberian Government registered its commitment and firm political will to conserve its forest landscape as protected areas primarily to benefit present and future generations. The two new national parks cover and protect nearly 200,000 ha of high biodiversity areas. This is evidence of Liberia’s commitment to becoming a compliant nation in the sub-region consistent with international expectations.

Liberia is supported by a number of collaborating partners that operate in the Southeast and Northwest of the country to assist the government deliver on its commitment for sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation efforts, and livelihood improvements for forest dependent communities. The Management of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) is therefore expressing its gratitude to the Government of Liberia, and collaborating partners, the Liberia Forestry Sector Project (LFSP)/World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), German Agency of Technical Cooperation (GIZ), German Development Bank (KFW), European Union (EU), Society for the Conservation of Nature (SCNL), and Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF) as well as concerned communities whose efforts have resulted in the fruitful finalization of these areas as National Parks. The management of the FDA describes the proclamation of the parks as a milestone in the history of the Liberian forest sector which it believes sets a firm foundation for the sustained management of Liberia’s forests.

The FDA management shares the dream of enhancing biodiversity conservation in the Nation, as it believes this is the most sustainable way of ensuring a better future for generations to come and protecting the livelihoods of people living in forested regions.

The creation of these parks is consistent with FDA’s mandate to establish a Protected Areas Network, together with conservation corridors, and incorporate existing National Forests to cover at least 30% of the existing forested areas of Liberia. These new parks obviously expand the national network of protected areas and biodiversity hotspots in the Southeast and Northwest. More essentially, conservation efforts are expected to encourage sustainable forestry and rural development in their periphery.

FDA pledges to work in concert with all partners to ensure that the torch of their dream keeps burning.

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