Drowning in Plastic Pollution

This story was a collaboration with New Narratives as part of the Climate Change and Land Rights Reporting Project. Funding was provided by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office and the American Jewish World Service….

Urgency in Liberia’s West Point As Sea Swallows Homes

For more than a decade coastal erosion has devastated the lives of people in Liberia’s nine coastal counties. 10,000 people have had to move. Livelihoods of those who depend on the sea have been upended.The government, along with the United Nations Development Program, has been building a series of coastal defences – to hold back…

Can the Coastal Defense Project Save West Point?

“The sea was coming closer but we were thinking that it was not serious. But in less than two to three months the sea wiped away the entire house,” he recalled on a recent visit to the site with reporters. “Other houses that were in front of us – we had about 200 to 300…

Grand Bassa Community Forest That Chose Conservation Battles Hardship

BARCONNIE AND HARMONVILLE COMMUNITY FOREST, Grand Bassa County – Powerful forces push the people of the 21 towns that make up this community forest area to abandon their efforts at conservation every day. Big money offered by foreign and local business people, amidst hardship, tempts them from their path. But the people say one thing is keeping them…

Monrovia and Paynesville are Drowning in Plastic; One Company Tries to Help

MONROVIA – Waste plastic is becoming a scourge around the world but it is especially true here in Liberia’s capital city and its satellite sister, Paynesville. Discarded plastic is choking waterways, blocking drains, killing fish, and leaching harmful chemicals into the water and soil. With poor or limited waste management systems, many communities in Monrovia and…

As Climate Change Hits, Farmers Find Success in Lowland Farming

Few rural farmers will have borne more hardship than Augustine Moore.  Beginning in the 1980s, he moved from Lofa to Bong counties and eventually here to Margibi to escape the war and consistent poor harvests. Finally he gave up. “My labor was going in vain. The farm’s yields were very low and could not sustain…

Farmers Say Food Crisis is Looming from Climate Change

The impacts of climate change are no longer possible to ignore. Wildfires in California and Australia; devastating flooding in Asia, make headlines every day. Rich countries battle over plans to solve it.Meanwhile poor countries like Liberia are on the frontlines, facing rise sea levels, higher temperatures, more extreme weather that are threatening people’s health and…

Is Climate Change the Biggest Crisis Facing Liberia?

The changing climate is grabbing headlines across the globe. Bushfires in California and Australia, floods in Asia, heatwaves in Europe.The same forces are ravaging Africa – including Liberia – threatening food security and collapse of our agriculture industry and the displacement of millions of people as sea levels rise. After the global COP 26 Climate…

Poor enforcement of Forestry Laws Paralyzes Forestry Industry

Across Liberia forestry operations are at a standstill as logging companies and small scale loggers square off over their right to operate. At the heart of the problem is poor implementation of regulations governing the industry. The logging companies are licensed by the national authorities, but local authorities are issuing permits to small scale loggers….

Women Farmers Hardest Hit by COVID-19

Coronavirus infections may have slowed but the economic fallout of the pandemic is still hurting millions of Liberians. Liberia’s economy has been shrinking since 2017. This was supposed to be the year the economy rebounded as gold and iron ore prices have risen. But for many, travel restrictions imposed to fight Covid-19 have devastated them….

Farmers Say Food Crisis is Looming from Climate Change

SINYEA, Bong County – After two years of poor harvests the Sumo family was nervous this year. Rain had been unpredictable. The sun felt hotter. The soil on their five-hectare plot here was dry. They planted bitter ball, pumpkin, pepper, corn, okra and rice and followed the rules they had followed their whole lives as subsistence…

Forestry Industry Paralysed by Poor Regulation

NEEZWEIN, River Cess — A power struggle is playing out here deep in the forest and the stakes for the local people are high. Logging companies with concession agreements that include thousands of dollars of benefits for local communities say their work is being hamstrung by informal loggers who disrupt their operations. Informal loggers say they…

Barconnie and Harmonville Community Forest Struggles with Conservation

When the Forest Reform law was passed in 2006, Liberia’s 51 community forests were offered a chance to conserve or commercialize their forests in logging and other deals with companies.44 chose the money. But conservation groups persuaded seven to pursue conservation – protecting their forest resources and promoting biodiversity.It’s not been an easy road. Varney…

Forest Hour

Radio panel on the issuance of exploration license in Blei community forest in Nimba County, northern Liberia by the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Panelists discuss the license, which has some experts say clashes with the Community Rights Law of 2009 with Respect to Forest Lands. The program was sponsored by New Narratives with funding…

Digging in the Past: A New Look at the Customary Land Conflict in Liberia

In 2018, the Land Rights Law of Liberia was passed into law. This was a good hundred years after the government formally declared “perfect, complete and absolute” possession of all lands within the borders of the State, This new law finally gives back to tribal people, the lands of their ancestors. It offers them the protection of…

Grand Bassa Officials Sign Bogus Logging Agreement with ‘Serbian’ Company

Editor’s Note: This story is the first of a two-part series on an illegal logging agreement between Vambo and Marloi townships in Grand Bassa County, and African Trades Entrepreneur Enterprises Incorporated.    VAMBO – Officials of Grand Bassa County have signed an illegal deal with a company to pave a dusty road through two townships in…