Carbon Colonialism Has No Place in Liberia’s Forests

Carbon Colonialism Has No Place in Liberia’s Forests

The fate of Liberia and its forests are entwined. Yet a new climate change deal, set to be announced at the UN climate change talks in Dubai this November, would drive a wedge between our communities and their woodlands.

Currently, forests make up more than two-thirds of Liberia’s land area, and are crucial for people’s livelihoods. They were illegally plundered by the former President Charles Taylor to fund a civil war that left an estimated 150,000 dead.

And since 2003, when the war ended, vast swathes of forested land have been signed over to foreign investors, as a corrupt minority have enriched themselves through illegal logging at the expense of the impoverished majority. We have lost nearly one quarter of our forests to economic development projects since then—with most of the loss occurring in the last ten years. This is a disaster for the communities that live on these lands and for efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change.

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