FDA, Partners Increasing Public Awareness to Fast-track Liberia’s Progress on REDD+
The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) through the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP) has embarked on a communication campaign to increase public awareness about the REDD+ and to communicate some of the key milestones of the project since its inception five years ago.
REDD stands for Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Degradation.
It is a framework created by the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) to guide activities in the forestry sector on the sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
It aims at the implementation of activities by national governments to reduce human pressure on forests that result in greenhouse gas emissions at the national level, but as an interim measure also recognizes subnational implementation.
The communication campaign aims to essentially address public perception about REDD implementation in Liberia through a range of activities including radio programs, media training, public events at the national and sub-national levels, and high-level stakeholder engagement with high-level policymakers, legislators, and academia.
The campaign will cover five (5) counties in the Southeastern priority landscape and two counties in the Northwest priority landscape including a host of national-level engagements.
In the lead-up to implementing these communication campaign activities, a Liberian consortium comprising four organizations began holding technical working sessions with stakeholders and Project Implementing Entities (PIEs) in early July. The first technical session was organized to have a meeting of the mind and to update the current REDD+ Communication Strategy, the REDD+ Communications Action Plan, and to improve the quality of the current band of REDD messages.
At the end of the first technical working session, the partners agreed to collaboratively determine the most practical approach they can build upon to conduct an effective communication campaign.
Like many conservation and forest management concepts, the REDD framework entails exhaustive and detailed steps before a country can attain result-based payment. Liberia transcended the REDD Readiness phase a few years ago and is now at phase two, which ultimately covers implementing national strategies or action plans.
As part of the implementation of phase two, the FDA through the LFSP is investing in forest-fringed communities by supporting livelihood and enterprise development activities, improving forest governance, and working with public sector entities to improve their capacities to enhance the public policy on the implementation of the REDD framework.
This communication campaign will provide the opportunity for the public to understand the enabling activities and challenges that were endured to get Liberia to phase two, and the level of progress made so far to elevate Liberia to the payment phase.