The Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020 in collaboration with the Africa Palm Oil initiative (PROFOREST) has ended a one-day partners’ roundtable meeting in collaboration with Liberia’s Ministry of Agriculture on the implementation of their deforestation-free commitments.
The TFA’s partner companies and governments made commitments to half deforestation associated to their supply chain by 2020 and with less than 1000 days to this target, the Alliance deemed it an obligation to get feedbacks in terms of progress made towards the implementation of those commitments and which challenges and opportunities are to be identified for scaling up as well as lessons learnt.
The roundtable held in Monrovia on Thursday February 28, 2019 provided the platform for stakeholders’ interaction giving an opportunity for companies of the palm oil, cocoa and rubber sectors as well as government and relevant donors to actively engage on plan to zero deforestation initiatives and assess their progress, discuss challenges and explore avenues for collaboration to accelerate implementation.
The meeting with members of the private and public spaces of the Liberian agricultural sector also threw lights on understanding the implementation and policies of these organizing partners’ engagements with the Liberian government as well as get feedbacks on the growth in the sector that included progress in achieving the commitments; identifying opportunities and challenges as well as clearing follow-up options.
On behalf of the Liberian government through the Ministry of Agriculture, the Director of Agriculture Sector Coordination, Francis Mwah expressed government’s appreciation and acknowledged that the meeting sets the pace for the pending gathering in June of this year.
Mr. Mwah said the meeting is intended to provide ideas that seek to improve agriculture in the country specifically in Lofa, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Bong and River Gee Counties.
Africa’s Regional Coordinator of TFA 2020, Joseph Lumumba, praised Liberia for being the first country in Africa to embrace and form partnership with TFA 2020 by allowing the first project to be undertaken here.
Mr. Lumumba urged stakeholders, partners and government to strategize what could be done to explore more opportunities and potentials that could be implemented with committed adding that in maintaining deforestation, partners cannot do it without government’s support and likewise government cannot succeed without the private sector.
The TFA 2020 Regional Coordinator for Africa told the gathering that the Alliance has pledged to support government and the initiatives undertaken by the private sector in reducing deforestation.
The TFA 2020 is a dedicated platform for public-private cooperation working to help organizations achieve their deforestation-free commitments with a mission of helping producers, traders and buyers of forest-risk commodities achieve their commitments to deforestation-free supply chains.
TFA 2020 helps governments of tropical forest countries to realize better growth through sustainable rural development in partnership with civil society and indigenous peoples and works by convening stakeholders at the global and regional level to form partnerships, which are designed to transform land use practices and supply chains.
The meeting brought together over 30 participants from TFA 2020 partnership companies that have made commitments while the government of Liberia was represented by the Ministry of Agriculture; the private sector, donors, NGOs and CSOs.