A two-day intensive training organized by the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with supports from the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Project to raise awareness and build capacity within the private sector ended over the weekend in Ganta, Nimba County.
The National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Project supports the Government of Liberia to advance its National Adaptation Plans process in climate sensitive sectors.
The project focuses on strengthening institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process, expanding the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation, building capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems, and formulating financing mechanisms for scaling-up adaptation, including public, private, national and international.
The two-day awareness training program on climate change adaptation targeted large, small and medium enterprise placed emphasis on the impact of climate change, the role of the private sector, financial intermediaries and other stakeholders in the implementation of adaptation activities.
The training also seeks to increase the level of awareness on climate change adaptation, increase the understanding and knowledge of private sector in investment and business opportunities related to climate change adaptation and strengthened private sector participation in climate change adaptation initiatives in Liberia.
The training attracted 50 participants from selected large, medium and small enterprises. Representatives from EPA, UNDP, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, National Investment Commission, Liberia Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce also attended the gathering.
National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Program Manager, Abraham Tumbey said the training was intended to raise awareness on the need to mobilize private sector investment for climate change adaptation and as identify opportunities for public-private partnership in adaptation projects.
According to him, the forum would be used to raise awareness on sources of domestic and external public and private financing options for scaling up adaptation because it is projected that climate related hazards including floods, windstorms, fire, and sea erosion are likely to worsen with climate change in Liberia.
“This will in turn have significant impact on local businesses and livelihoods, the key sectors and overall national economic performances,” Mr. Tumbey said.
Also speaking at the start of the training, EPA Deputy Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou said the country is highly vulnerable due to limited infrastructure and services, a population heavily dependent on natural resources for livelihood and export earnings and a coastline of 560 km, which host about 58 percent of the country’s population.
“Coastal erosion, increase in temperature, flooding and storms are having great impact on our country,” Dobayou said.
In brief statement, UNDP Gender and Development Expert, Chantal Kingue Ekambi said Climate change is threatening livelihoods and societies worldwide and noted that companies are being held to account for their impact on livelihoods, environment and societies at large
She disclosed that the private sector is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, from increased operational costs to disrupted production and indicated that there is a strong rhetoric present within international climate change discussions that assumes the private sector, as a key set of actors.
Madam Ekambi explained that the UN Development Program recognizes that bridging the massive gap in adaptation financing will require significant private sector investment.