19 February 2013

Liberia Ends Rio Convention Manual Validation

Environmental stakeholders from various ministries and agencies of the Liberian government have ended a one-day validation workshop on the implementation of integrated reporting on the Rio Conventions.

The workshop was organized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an institution of government responsible for the protection of the country's environment.

The national reporting is a key commitment for parties to the Rio Conventions, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The National Manual on the implementation of the Rio Conventions is an international document signed by five countries including Liberia for the proper management and protection of the environment.

Speaking at the validation process over the weekend, the Project National Consultant, Professor Weade Kobbah-Wureh said the validation aims at providing guidance on content and format of the national reports on the conventions.

Professor Kobbeh-Wureh said the validation is intended to develop integrated approaches to data collection and information management to the three Rio Conventions at the national level.

According to Prof. Kobbah-Wureh, the process would help to increase synergies in the process of reporting to the three conventions without compromising relevant decisions and would contribute to the improvement of the overall planning and decision-making processes at the country level.

She indicated that the manual validation process would help to develop a mechanism to manage biodiversity threats which affect desertification and climate change.

According to her, it would also strengthen the roles of steering committees of each convention to include focal persons for projects to enhance coordination, collaboration and information sharing.

She noted that this would further increase collaboration with academic and other research institutions involved with activities relevant to the Rio Conventions as a way of ensuring a continuous flow of information on environmental issues.

In remarks, a proxy of EPA Executive Director, Benjamin Karmorh said validating the Rio Convention manual demonstrates Liberia's commitment to protecting the environment.

Mr. Karmorh who is also the Climate Change Focal Person at the EPA said the validation exercise was critical to ensuring that the environment is protected for sustainability.

For his part, the Coordinator of the Rio Project at the EPA, Mr. Jonathan W. Davis indicated that the process would enable the Secretariat of the Rio Conventions to avoid duplication of functions during the implementation stage.

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