Presidency

H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah

President, Liberia

Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor

Vice President, Liberia

EPA, UNDP Enhance Environmental Data Sharing Platform

Cross-section of participants at the training

The Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have enhanced the quality of the Environmental Knowledge Management System (EKMS), an integrated platform that focuses on collecting, storing and sharing information and data between institutions for better environmental management and fulfilment of the obligations of the Rio Convention.

Rio Convention relates to the three conventions, which were agreed at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. They are the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Additional software (plug ins) was recently procured by EPA and UNDP to enhance the functionality of the EKMS, which was established by the Cross Cutting Capacity Development (CCCD) Project in 2019 with funding from Global Environment Facility (GEF).

In an effort to make the platform more useful, the EPA in collaboration with UNDP over the weekend concluded a three-day learning–by-doing rehearsal training in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

The rehearsal training on how to use the EKMS was held under the theme: “Strengthening National Capacities to Meet Global Environmental Obligations With the Framework of Sustainable Development Priorities”.

It attracted over 75 participants from line ministries and agencies, NGOs and academia.

The participants were EKMS Officers, Knowledge Brokers, project staff, facilitators, rapporteurs and journalists.

Speaking at the start of the training, CCCD Project Manager, Aaron Wesseh said EKMS platforms is a multi-year cross sectoral engagements that supports coordination and collaboration among Government staff, research centers, think tanks, practitioners, and private firms in tackling global environmental challenges.

Mr. Wesseh indicated that the platform aims to support government by building connections between initiatives, stakeholders and those working on sustainable development on the ground, and by creating a dynamic system of knowledge and information exchange.

He disclosed that the website will strive to draw on and complement a growing agenda on the Rio Conventions within the natural resource management sector and external partners to scale up environmental initiatives.

Mr. Wesseh explained that the platform will also build on and strengthen existing knowledge networks on environmental issues, and will also link networks and partnerships of GEF, GCF and bilateral grant recipients to promote collaborative learning and sharing of knowledge, foster South-South knowledge exchanges, and deepen collaboration among grant recipients as well as with research centres, universities, practitioner networks, and think-tanks.

According to a release from the EPA, the three-day event helped strengthened a pool of technicians from National Resources Management Institutions use the new technological innovation to collect, store and share environmental information.

It also increased the technicians understanding of what the environmental knowledge is and how to validate data, information and knowledge and as well enhanced the decision making ability and communication strategy.

Speaking at the end of the training, technicians who attended the learning by doing rehearsal training lauded the EPA and UNDP for the opportunity to share perspectives, ideas, experience and information relative to environmental governance.

They promised to provide data from their institutions so that they are available in the right place at the right time to enable informed decisions; and to improve efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.

They also pleaded with the EPA and her partners to develop a users’ manual to enable them easily use the platform.