Agnes M. Tarr
The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Madam Anyaa Vohn has disclosed that desertification remains an environmental hazard with adverse impact on ecosystem and the livelihoods of people especially in Africa and has contributed to increase poverty.
The EPA boss said the global concern is about the danger of desertification which caught the attention of the United Nations and after a number of actions to deal with the scourge, in 1994; the United Nations Convention to combat desertification (UNCCD) was adopted and opened for signature which Liberia signed on March 3, 1998.
Madam Vohn statement was contained in speech delivered on her behalf by her Technical Advisor Nathaniel T.Blama, Sr, on Wednesday September 26, 2012, at the a legislative Capacity Building Workshop on the National Action Plan for sustainable land Management programmers held at a local hotel in Sinkor Monrovia.
She explained that being a signatory to a convention has made the country committed to the terms and condition of Convention, and soon it began taken actions for the implementation of her obligations and in October 1998, which a national Coordinating Committee was established follow by focal point appointment making the Convention a highest priority.
She boasted that Liberia is well on course with sustainable poverty reduction and development with land and forest resources quality and quantity being central, adding
“All most all of the upland agriculture in Liberia is still slash-and-burn and under current population densities, and that it is highly unsustainable and now characterized by a continuing decline in soil fertility and crop yields as the fallow periods get shorter”.
According to her much of the clearing of new forest land for slash-and-burn agriculture is driven by the need to compensate for those declining yields combined with rapid population growth of about three percent years (3%yr).
Speaking further, the EPA Boss noted that the continued intensification of slash-and-burn agriculture could ultimately destroy all the remaining largest piece of the upper Guinea forest land in the country and world over the next decades.
“The ongoing declines in yields also contribute directly to rural poverty and food security and that the intense harvesting and illegal logging operations that took place during the period of the Civil war added destruction process and can only be allowed to continue at the detriment of the future generation of this Country” she added.
Serving as keynoted speaker, Liberia Ambassador designate to the Republic of Senegal Dr.Brahima D.Kaba emphasized that it is important to recognize the major role of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the support and preparatory activities leading to the formation of the national action plan the United Nations Convention to combat desertification (UNCCD) program in Liberia.
Amb.Kaba who is currently a Commissioner at the Liberia land Reform Commission (LRC) indicated that he’s hope that the resulting action plan that will crafted from the worship will be relevant and realistic for Liberia situation.