MONROVIA. Oct. 22 (LINA) – Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed more than ever before in its strides against the impacts of climate change “which remains visible across the country,” but there must be shared determination to mitigate the threats on the environment, said Executive Director, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh.
Liberia is “highly” reliant on climate sensitive sectors such as energy, agriculture, waste, and forestry, he says, thus establishing the potential for “devastating impacts and consequences of climate change. »
Prof. Tarpeh was speaking Thursday at the beginning of a one-day ‘working group’ consultative meeting in Monrovia on the subject: “Building and Strengthening Liberia’s Capacity to Implement the Paris Agreement.”
The meeting was held under the auspices of the European Union-Liberia Climate Change Alliance+ Project Long-Term Technical Assistance (LTTA).
“We can assure you of our renewed cooperation to build stronger frontiers in addressing the issue of climate change in Liberia,” the newly-commissioned EPA chief stressed.
He cited the cases of coastal erosion, sea level rise, erratic rainfall, flooding, change in weather patterns, extreme temperatures as being on the increase and visible, thereby triggering the need for collective and urgent attention and action.
In 2015, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement where countries committed to a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.
Five years after the Paris Agreement, countries including Liberia are currently said to be revising their climate change action plans referred to as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
This move is essentially meant to reassess the targets and actions set forth in 2015 and as well set new targets that are realistic to reduce greenhouse gas emission levels, and promote sustainable development.
The revision of the NDC, a partnership which Liberia joined in December 2018, will also take an introspective look at including new and emerging sectors into NDC such as the inclusion of green corridors and other nature-based solutions like the short-lived climate pollutants, among others, the EPA executive director mentioned.
In the meantime, John F. Kanneh, coordinator of the NDC, said that a work plan can be expected from the brainstorming exercise, after stakeholders would have analyzed actions and plans and priorities for the revised NDC based on national circumstances.
The implementation model will also be agreed upon, he added.
Moreover, EU-Liberia Climate Change Project expert, Kumeh Assaf, noted that a study conducted by UNDP and Petra Resources, Inc., found that most of the issues around climate impacts management are rather ad hoc.
“The national policies are weak, often not localized and that institutional readiness is dismal for the most part,” Mr. Assaf quoted the National Capacity Assessment for Managing Climate Change Impact in Liberia.
“Good governance is essential to maintaining country ownership, momentum and helping to ensure the quality of NDC implementation,” Assaf further remarked.