Environmental nonprofit Conservation International has presented a map, which classifies and depicts Liberia’s diverse ecosystem types to President George M. Weah as a gift.
The map was presented to President Weah on 2 June 2021 during the opening session of the national conference on the environment and climate change held under the auspices of the Government of Liberia through the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).
Peter G. Mulbah, Conservation International Country Director said the state-of-the-art map is the result of a joint initiative between Conservation International, USA. NASA and the Government of Liberia with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as one of the Natural Capital Accounting Project deliverables.
According to him, it was created to pilot a novel, low-cost, replicable approach to map ecosystems to accurately and repeatably measure the economic value of its nature.
“This map is a critical step in Liberia’s effort to implement a series of ecosystem accounts,” Mr. Mulbah said.
He explained that implementing these accounts will primarily improve the conservation and sustainable use of Liberia’s natural capital by supporting the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development- the primary strategy to foster sustainable and equitable growth in Liberia.
In February of 2020, Liberia formally began this journey towards developing national ecosystem accounts, he noted.
The Government of Liberia, through the EPA and in partnership with Conservation International, started the implementation of the GEF- Natural Capital Accounting funded project, titled “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Liberia’s Coastal Natural Capital”.
The broader objectives of the five-year project are to mainstream the value of nature and its benefits to citizens, into Liberia’s development trajectory and secure Liberia’s long-term sustainability by supporting green growth, while alleviating poverty and human wellbeing towards achieving objectives of the Pro-Poor Agenda (PAPD).
It also seeks to build the statistical infrastructure and capacity for the Liberian Government to conduct ecosystem accounting as an integral part of the national statistics efforts.
Natural Capital Accounting informs a wide range of policy and management practices.
“Armed with information such as the status and trends of ecosystems over time; synergies and trade-offs associated with potential interventions; and the impact of macro-economic and sectoral policies on natural resource use, livelihoods, and economic development,” Mr. Mulbah hopes that the results of the project will provide Liberia with a more complete understanding of nature, people and the economy to facilitate effective decision-making that improves the well-being of Liberian people.
Receiving the gift, President Weah lauded Conservation International for its contribution to the sustainable management and protection of the environment and the country’s natural resources.
He thanked the nonprofit environmental group’s local team for developing the country’s ecosystem map.