Monrovia – The Government of Liberia, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the National Adaptation Plan of Liberia.
The National Adaptation Plan (NPA) is funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) created to support the effort of developing countries to response to the challenge of climate change in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The project was launched at the National Adaption Plans Inception workshop implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the National Climate Change Secretariat March 12 at a local hotel in Monrovia.
Outlining the NAP’s priorities at the launch, the EPA’s new Executive Director, Nathaniel T. Blama, Sr. noted that Liberia is the first country that have started the implementation of NAP; even though the country received approval alongside the Republic of Nepal.
“The strategic priorities of the NAP are to mainstream climate change adaptation into development policies, plans and strategies; build long-term capacities of institutional structures involved in NAP; implement effective and sustainable funding mechanisms, advance research and development in climate change adaptation, and improve knowledge management” he said.
Mr. Blama said there is circumstantial evidence that climate change is impacting Liberia in Varying ways and stressed for a need of precise and carefully vetted data, both through satellite imaging and ground surveys to determine “our vulnerability and adaption options.”
These priorities, the EPA boss said, will directly support the government’s pro-poor agenda by safeguarding agriculture livelihoods and income as well as protecting poor and vulnerable communities that are challenged by coastal erosion and flooding.
Additionally, he averred that they will contribute to the achievement of target laid out in our nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters and but integrating climate change method measures into national policies and planning.
NAP must be nationally driven and institutionalize so that it can reflect our local setting and national priorities. Only then that it would be possible to formulate appropriate and effective adaptation strategies.
He hailed the long-standing partnership with the UNDP and other partners for the support and look forward to enhancing cooperation in ensuring that Liberia meet the international climate change commitments and obligations.
Also speaking, UNDP Country Director, Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai pledged the UNDP’s commitment in working with communities to support the government to response to disaster, mitigate risk and build resilience to natural hazards.
“As we go into the adaptation planning, we recognize the vital role of the local people in addressing climate change and other development issues. One key lesson learned was from the Ebola crisis of2014 and 2015 in Liberia, which did not only reveal that community copy mechanisms can be effectively use to prepare, mitigate and response to crisis, but also it helps production capacity and resilience at every level,” Dr. Beyai noted.
He described NAP is a continuous progressive and interactive process which follows a country driven gender sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach that enables government, businesses and society to collectively become more climate resilient.
Representatives and heads of collaborating partners attending the formal opening and launch of the workshop included Hon Tanneh Geraldine Brunson, Deputy Minister for Budget and Development Planning, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning; Mr. C. Mike Doryen, Managing Director, Forestry Development Authority; Dr Ophelia Inez Weeks, President, University of Liberia; Hon.
Mr. Molewuleh B. Gray, Chairman, National Investment Commission and Madam Emma Metieh Glassco, Director, National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority.
Others are Mr. Henry O. Williams, Mr. John B.S. Davies, President, Liberia Bank for Development & Investment, Mr. Augustus Goanue, Executive Director, Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA), Mr. Carlton Miller, Deputy Minister for Planning and Development, Ministry of Mines & Energy and Honorable George Tengbe, Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources gracing the occasion.
The opening session of the inception workshop was followed by the technical session held at the Buchanan City Hall, Grand Bassa County from March 13-14, 2018 where sector representatives and experts reviewed and revised the project strategy, work plan, monitoring & evaluation plan.
At the end of the session the project manager, Mr. E. Abraham T. Tumbey Jr. pledged his commitment to remain engage with the project’s partners to ensure that the project outcomes are fully realized.
It was graced by Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence and Representative Vincent Willie of Grand Bassa County.