Liberia Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Thursday, August 27, 2020, commenced a two-day technical training workshop on climate finance.
The training aimed at strengthening the Government of Liberia capacities to access, manage and deliver international and national climate finance more effectively.
The training which is taking place in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County was organized under the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) Project for Medium-Term Investment Planning in Climate-Sensitive Sector and Costal Project in Liberia.
It is funded by Green Climate Fund and implemented by UNDP and EPA.
The technical training workshop which has attracted financial experts from government ministries and agencies focuses on two key components and is intended to provide a forum for discussion, networking and collaboration for participants and enabling experience sharing to support effective learning.
Climate finance is an integral part of national climate change strategies.
Speaking on the significance of the training, NAP Program Manager E. Abraham T. Tumbey said national climate change strategies need to emphasize appropriate actions for accessing climate finance, based on evidence-based policy-making.
Thursday’s session highlighted several topics including International policy response to climate change.
Ephrat Yovel, an international consultant on climate finance did a presentation via zoom from the United States of America on ‘International policy response to climate change’.
The presentation established the foundation to climate finance knowledge.
Madam Yovel provided participants with an understanding of climate policy and public finance and elicits their inputs, helping them develop a better understanding of emerging capacities for climate finance in Liberia.
Prior to his presentation on emerging institutional structures to manage climate finance in Liberia, Prof. Benjamin S. Karmorh, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Point lauded the participants for attending the training.
Prof. Karmorh said climate finance may be new to some the stakeholders, but indicated the EPA has been leading the front in accessing climate finance by writing climate finance project.
He disclosed that the EPA has on many occasions developed national adaptation projects and country programs, but has had challenge with sectorial ministries taking the lead on writing projects.
Prof. Karmorh said this has placed burden on the EPA and noted “we believe that if we have to work to reduce the impacts of climate change, it must be an inclusive competitive and transparent process with each arm of government and private sector playing their role.”
The UNFCCC Focal Point pleaded with participants to make the workshop interactive by asking all of the necessary questions.
He on behalf of EPA Acting Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou recognized and lauded UNDP’s role the revision of Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
For his part, Assistant Mines and Energy Minister Johnson Walabo lauded EPA and UNDP for organizing the workshop and stressed the need to provide allotment in the national budget to support climate change issues.
Also speaking at the start of the training, Assistant Finance Minister for Planning Benedict Kolubah said “we are in a challenging time because most of the country’s programs including climate financing activities have experienced shock.”
He asked participants to be innovative because whatever decision taken would affect generations to come.
Assistant Minister Kolubah referred to climate financing as a non-traditional means of financing and said if “we are innovative it would be a great way to source funding for our development projects.”