Liberia's environmental group wants Taylor at ECOWAS Summit

Monrovia- Liberia (PANA) -- An environmental group in Liberia Monday called on President Charles Taylor to attend the 20-21 December Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Summit in Dakar, Senegal.
Taylor last week ruled himself out of the meeting citing the "situation" in his country, where dissents have been fighting government troops.
The Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL) said it believes a recommendation from Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo for the discussion of the West African forest would surface at the Summit.
It said in a statement that considering that 43 percent of the remaining forest in West Africa was in Liberia, and given the present day reality, environmental conservation could only be achieved through concerted regional initiatives.
"That is why President Gbagbo's call for conservation of the West African forest to be included on the agenda of the ECOWAS Summit has received wide international commendation," the statement added.
It said "as (a) proud holder of the largest portion of the (West Africa forest) heritage, it is only befitting that Liberia is represented by the highest office" at the ECOWAS Summit.
"We want President Taylor to know that no discussion about the forest of West Africa can reach any logical conclusion without Liberia," the environmental group said.
The SCNL said it was available to offer technical advice to Taylor and his delegation on the matter of the West African forest.
The group said it recognised the Taylor government's efforts to conserve the environment by creating the National Environmental Commission and rectifying the Convention on Biological diversity.

17 december 2001 16:58:00

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