LIBERIA: Forest Community Alarms Over Proposed 25-Years Carbon Credit Deal

By: Aaron Wesley Geezay

Zammie Town, River Cess County-Residents of Kploh Chiefdom in River Cess County have alarmed over a proposed Carbon credit deal that is expected to be signed for the extraction of carbon from their forest. Blue Earth Capital Carbon Inc. is the company fronting for the 25 years carbon credit contract.

Kploh Chiefdom is situated in the Northeastern part of River Cess County and has a common boundary with the Gbi-Doru Administrative District in Nimba County and Gbo in Grand Gedeh County. The Chiefdom is divided into two clans, Zialu and Teekpeh clans. It also hosts the famous Zialu and Teekpeh Community Forest that has been in the midst of controversy since it signed a 15-year 3rd party with the EJ&J logging company in November 2018.

Like the almost failed logging contract, the community is once more being persuaded to go into a carbon credit deal they have less information about amidst disappointment in the performance of EJ&J logging company. Curious residents from Zammie Town say there are ongoing negotiations between the citizens of Kploh Chiefdom, specifically Zialu Clan and a group only identified as Blue Earth Capital Carbon Inc. for a possible 25 years carbon conservation project. The Community Land Development and Management Committee (CLDMC) headed by its chairman Emmanuel Roberts, has been at the forefront of the deal on behalf of the Community, community members have revealed.  

The locals in the area say Blue Earth Capital Carbon Inc. has held series of meetings with them in an attempt to take over the forest. The first meeting was held in February of this year. The forest in which Blue Earth Capital Carbon Inc. wants to operate falls outside of the Zialu and Teekpeh Community Forest, over which EJ&J reportedly has legitimacy. Community members are complaining over the lack of education/knowledge about the carbon credit project, and have since expressed doubt about the deal. They want civil society organizations, particularly the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) to guide them in the negotiation process with the Blue Earth Capital Carbon Inc.

“When the people came, they said they wanted to sign agreement with us to take carbon from our forest but we said-we can’t just sign agreement that we don’t have idea on, so you people give us time so we can consult our partner, Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) before getting back to you”, residents of the area told the Liberia Forest Media Watch.

Though community residents are resisting the proposed 25 years carbon credit project, they, however, seem to be open to a 15 years deal. “They wanted us to sign the contract for 25 years but we said 25 years was too plenty so we told them that we could only sign 15 years”, say community residents . Even though they prefer a 15 years carbon credit deal, they have not shied away from openly acknowledging their shortcomings on carbon credit project.  

Blue Earth Capital Carbon Inc. is proposing annual royalty fees of US$27,000 as community benefits when the deal is finalized, according to community members interviewed. In addition to the US$27,000 annual payment, Blue Earth Capital Carbon Inc. says it is also willing to pay an unannounced amount for carbon extracted per quantity.

The carbon credit deal comes barely 3 months after Blue Carbon, a UAE-based entity, and the Republic of Liberia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to implement carbon removal projects in the forest sector in Liberia.

 Blue Carbon was established under the vision of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, a member of the Dubai Royal Family and Chairman of the company. The Dubai based company’s mandate is to create environmental assets, nature-based solutions and register carbon removal projects.

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1 Comment

    thanks for the reportage, but your article is biased die to the fact that you failed to reach out to the other party (Blue Earth Capital) for it’s position, but yet you concluded with detailed information on a Dubai based organization which has similar interest in carbon extraction in Liberia. you can do better

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