NUCFDCs Head of Secretariat to Lobby for Liberia’s Forest Communities at COP28

Forest communities in Liberia will have direct representation at 2023 Conference of Parties (COP28) of the United Nations. The 28th United Nations Climate Change conference will take place from November 30, 2023 to December 12, 2023, at the Expo City in Dubai.

The Head of Secretariat and National Facilitator of the National Union of Community Forestry Development Committees (NUCFDCs), Mr. Andrew Y. Y. Zelemen will be among delegates from nearly 200 countries, leaders of business and finance, and representatives of civil society at the event.

It is aim at fast-tracking the transition to a clean-energy future. At COP28, delegates including the NUCFDCs Head of Secretariat are expected to stress the importance of collective actions to stop climate change and the critical role of finance in the low-carbon transition.  The gathering will help investors and other capital markets participants see what’s ahead and back climate commitments with actions.

Speaking ahead of his impending trip, Mr. Zelemen assured his organization and forest communities in Liberia that he will take advantage of every available opportunity at the global event and push the interests of forest communities in Liberia and Liberia at large.

The NUFDCs Head of Secretariat said he will navigate successfully to participate in every side discussion at the event that will benefit the local forest communities in Liberia.

The National Union of Community Forestry Development Committees represents 23 Community Forestry Development Committees (CFDC) within seven Forest Management Contract Areas found within nine counties. They include Lofa, Gbarpolu, Rivercess, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, River Gee, Grand Kru and Maryland Counties. The union also represents CFDC within nine Timber Sale Contracts (TSC) areas in three counties including Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu.

Zelemen said “At COP, there are lots of side discussions about indigenous communities, the impacts of climate change looking at forest communities, the issue of carbon offsetting and a lot of things had been discussed at COP.  It’s an opportunity for one leading local communities and representing them at COP will be a good thing for me to be able to participate in some of these discussions and push our communities’ case.”

“The issue of climate financing for communities to benefit out of it is something we need to talk about for UN to ensure that the different governments will ensure communities in forestry sector benefit from climate financing. I will look at indigenous women in communities and how they can benefit from women development programs because they at community levels carry lots of burdens for their families and if there are programs for women, we want to see our community women benefit from climate financing,” he said.

Mr. Zelemen wants forest communities involve in discussions around carbon because it has become critical issues.

“We think that if there will be decisions, we will be part of these decisions that will help our country or the UN processes across the world. We have started already creating awareness around carbon offsetting and we are looking at how Liberia can be interested in discussions around carbon trading and offsetting as well,” he added.

The trip, Mr. Zelemen said is fully funded by the Funds for Global Human Rights under the Legal Empowerment Fund.

He said “I am thankful to the Funds for Global Human Rights under the Legal Empowerment Fund. They are providing me full funding for the trip and also thankful to the National Union of Community Forestry Development Committees who have given me the opportunity to serve them. Also to the Liberian Government for allowing me to form part of the delegation. It signifies the government’s commitment to supporting and involving communities in decisions making processes.”

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