MONROVIA – The National Democratic Coalition (NDC) of Liberia, has expressed dismay against the ongoing discussion between the Liberian government and the UAE-based company (Blue Carbon), a private company to “harvest’ carbon credits from emissions supposedly saved by protecting and restoring the Liberian forests to sell them to major polluters to offset their own emissions.
The NDC notes, that such an initiative according to experts will risk the livelihoods of up to a million people, and it would also extinguish community land ownership in the selected areas while violating peoples’ legal right to provide Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
NDC, in a press release, stated that the request (Request for Noobligation to the Sole Sourcing ) by the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Managing Director (C. Mike Doryen) to the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) runs contrary to the PPCC Act of 2010 Section 55 and Section 101 which state in parts that such request can be done in the case of extreme urgency and or it would be against national security.
Thus, the NDC noted that the Blue Carbon deal doesn’t fit in either Section 55 nor Section 101 of the PPCC Act of 2010. Furthermore, the release points out that the Blue Carbon deal ignores customary land ownership since the deal didn’t exert the aspect of Free, Prior, and Informed consent information of rural communities as guaranteed under Article 32 of the Land Rights Act of 2018, the Community Rights Law of 2009 with Respect to Forest Lands, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples amongst others.
The NDC, therefore, calls on the Liberian government to unconditionally halt all discussion behind the curtain as it has been in the Carbon Credit deal and initiate a clear roadmap leading to an inclusive stakeholder’s involvement in line with international best practice that will address the followings:
- Show how the project will contribute to the Nationally Determined Contributions;
- adhere to national investment priorities and ecological, social, cultural, and economic safeguards.
- Disclose relevant project information including costs incurred, verified emission reductions, and estimated revenues;
- indicate expected employment, jobs creation to the national experts and local communities;
- involve the local communities in the implementation of the project;
- indicate a commitment to corporate social responsibility;
- adhere to national priority carbon trading sectors;
- be in line with national policies, laws and strategies;
- adhere to transparency and fairness in business; and
Lastly, the NDC applauds the Civil Society organizations of Liberia as well as international NGOs that are keenly following the Carbon Credit deal and have made clear their positions regarding the dangers and prospects the deal may hold for the country.
About the NDC
The NDC is Liberia’s longstanding social-democratic coalition comprising two grassroots registered political parties: The New Democratic Alternative of Liberia Movement (The New DEAL Movement) and the Free Democratic Party (The FDP). The constituent parties making up the NDC were amongst several political parties, CSOs, the Inter-religious Council of Liberia, warring faction representatives, youth and women groups in the presence of ECOWAS, AU, and the UN that signed the Comprehensive Accra Peace Accord for the silencing of gun violence in Liberia after 14yrs of bloody civil unrest.