Vice President Boakai Recommends Cultivation of Mangroves

Wednesday, 17th November 2010

Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Sr., is recommending the cultivation of mangrove plants along Liberia’s coastline to combat coastal erosion.

He made specific reference to Buchanan, Virginia and other areas affected by coastal erosion, noting, “Every time we take one of these plants and plant it, we are helping to improve our environment and protect not only animal species, but indeed, human life as well”.

Vice President Boakai made the recommendation Wednesday when he delivered the keynote address at the official launching and inception workshop of a project entitled: ”Enhancing Resilience of Vulnerable Coastal Areas to Climate Change Risks in Liberia”

The objective of the three-day workshop is to create awareness among stakeholders and other development partners on their roles and responsibilities in the project implementation as well as the project presentation.

In the statement delivered on his behalf by his Policy Adviser, Mr. Sando Wayne, Vice President Boakai cited the presence of the abundant mangroves trees growing along Liberia’s coastlines as effective prevention against tidal erosion and protection of affected coastal cities from storms.

“Their roots are an ecosystem in themselves, home to many sea creatures, and they generate oxygen and remove carbon from the atmosphere. Some say they serve as the lungs of the earth, “ Vice President Boakai further observed.

He informed the participants that Liberia’s 350 mile long coastline is one of the longest in tropical Africa.

He said Liberia is home to dense mangrove forests, one of the largest marine biodiversity on the continent and hundreds of animal species, including dozens that are yet to be discovered, adding, “We also have some of the world’s beautiful sand cone beaches for tourism and other purposes”, and stressed the need to preserve these assets.

He thanked organizers of the workshop for collaborating with the Liberian Government in taking steps to preserve Liberia’s biodiversity.

Vice President Boakai emphasized that mangroves and other tropical forest products have broad and tremendous utility not only for Liberia, but also for the entire world.

“Conversely, deforestation of the world’s coastal and interior forests accounts for between 15 and 20 percent of all the carbon emissions that are part of global warming. This statistic is so great, but it points to a solution for us in Liberia: If we can protect our forests, if we can prohibit illegal logging, if we can transition from the slash and burn system to mechanized farming, if we can reduce our reliance on the use of charcoal for energy, we can make significant progress in protecting our nation and others from the effects of green house gas, reduce emission, and their effects on climate change,” he further observed.

He called for the installation of early warning system to create awareness against pending danger posed by climate change near affected cities.

He said the urgent and growing threat of climate change is a global challenge that requires a global solution, adding, “As sea levels rise and storms increase, the very existence of countries along the Atlantic shores are at risk, and we have no time to lose to take meaningful, measurable actions to limit greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change”.

The workshop will end on Friday, November 19, with field visits to areas affected by coastal erosion.