Members from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board have at the end of the informal board meeting in Monrovia agreed to fund three major projects in Liberia worth over US$ 100 Million.
The GCF is a global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. The Fund is a platform that allows investment in low-emission and climate-resilient development, which will help countries reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change.
At the GCF Board informal meeting which convened from 5-7 February 2020 at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi, County and technical meeting which subsequently ran from 9-12 February 2020, the decision was reached and Liberia was accepted to execute three major projects which include; a Climate Information System Project, an Integrated Agriculture Ecotourism Project and the Monrovia Metropolitan Climate Resilient Project that would witness the construction of a costal defense in the township of West Point and other areas vulnerable to coastal erosion. All these will be done in sequence
The meetings, which were also encompassed with bilateral as well as excursions to the once famous Hotel Africa, and West Point afforded members of the GCF Board the opportunity to understand and see for themselves the level of threats climate change poses to Liberia and its people.
Following the tours and technical meeting, the National Designated Authority (NDA) of the GCF and Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Dr. Nathaniel T. Blama, said the board agreed to fast track Liberia’s funding proposal and to provide financial supports through various projects in sequence national and global perspective.
Dr. Blama disclosed that the country’s strategic plan document is ready to go. “This strategic plan is expected to be finally approved in B.25 (March 8- 12, 2020)”.
In furtherance, he mentioned that Climate Information System (CIS) project is also expected to be finally approved at the board’s 26th meeting in June of 2020. “This project will provide and equipped the Robert International Airport with a Radar system and other equipment to monitor activities in its airspace.
The NDA indicated that media practitioners would also be train under the CIS project to provide accurate information on climate and daily weather update through the different electronic media across the country.
The GCF Board, according to Dr. Blama is again expected to approve the Monrovia Metropolitan Climate Resilient Project, which is intended to implement a variety of coastal defense activities to protect five hotspots including West Point which are vulnerable to coastal erosion when the team gather this year in October at its 27th meeting. Furthermore, “the Integrated Agriculture Ecotourism Project would also get approve in December 2020 when members of the GCF Board gather for their 28th Board Meeting (B28)”.
“The three projects will be executed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Africa Development Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)”, Dr. Blama mentioned.
On the other hand, The Minister of Finance Development and Planning, Mr. Samuel D. Tweh, Jr in a bilateral met with the delegation from the United Kingdom (UK) and the GCF on how to develop a Transformational Climate Resilient Development Portfolio for Liberia using the World Bank and other countries (UK, Norway Germany, France, USA,) as means of leveraging GCF platform to source finance in the turn of US $100-200 million. The Minister is expected to lead in collaboration with EPA in setting up a team and crafting a road map to making this a reality as well.
The Executive Director of EPA, in closing of the technical meeting lauded members of the GCF Board for accepting to meet in Liberia. He thanked his Excellency Dr. George M. Weah for the level of support he provided for the meeting.
Dr. Blama, expressed gratitude to ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs for also helping to ensure the meeting was held here. He gratefully acknowledged and also thanked officers of the Liberia National Police and the Liberia Immigration Services for their support and protection during the duration of the meeting.