7 March 2017

Liberia: Climate Change Experts Concludes Workshop On Enhancing Liberia's Development

Buchanan — Climate change experts and stakeholders have concluded a two day workshop on how to enhance Liberia's development through the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, the workshop brought together experts from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and presented a unique opportunity for the support of Liberia's development programs.

Jeremiah Sokan, focal person and national coordinator of the National Climate Change Secretariat said Liberia currently stands a chance of benefiting from US$50 million which could go towards building defenses against creeping sea erosion that is gradually washing away buildings across the country.

"Climate change is the defining challenge of our time," he said.

"The human impact on our planet is unprecedented. Long-term changes in the earth's climate system are significant."

"The Green Climate Fund was established with a mission to advance the goal of keeping the temperature increase on our home planet below 2 degrees Celsius." "The Fund is a unique global initiative to respond to climate change by investing into low-emission and climate-resilient development."

GCF was established by 194 governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, and to help adapt vulnerable societies to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Given the urgency and seriousness of the challenge, the Fund is mandated to make an ambitious contribution to the united global response to climate change.

A fund under the GCF intends address several projects including; Forest conservation and management, agro forestry, agricultural irrigation, water treatment.

It also intends to address Early warning system; Disaster Management, Greening of Agri-food value Chain, Resilient road networks, restoration of wetlands, Ecosystem conservation and management, and ecotourism.

An analytical assessment of climate change impacts on Liberia points to; A warmer and wetter climate in most parts of the country for 2050 and 2080 Coastal erosion: Rise in sea levels with a loss in infrastructure and land of around US$250 million apart from social and psychological stress on the population.

Loss in agriculture productivity, decline in GDP and food insecurity Forestry: Loss of forest and biodiversity Health: Increase intensity of transmission of vector and waterborne diseases, and changes in the prevalence of diseases.

In anticipation of a new climate agreement, countries publicly agree to outlined what climate actions they intended to take under the new international agreement, known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)

INDCs aligns national policy setting -- in which countries determine their contributions in the context of their national priorities, circumstances and capabilities

Ahead of the Paris summit 188 countries including Liberia submitted INDCs, which serve as the road map to the new climate agreement.

Liberia's contributions to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stand at 1.89 Mt CO2 eq, representing 0% of the global total with a target to Reduce GHGs by at least 10% by 2030 from BAU levels.The long-term strategy of Liberia is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050

Total GHG emissions can be reduced using all strategies from BAU trajectory by 15% in 2030

EPA is working with the UNDP to develop a climate change adaptation Project proposal for GCF funding to address issues of coastal erosion at the cost of approx.

US$35M Strengthen local institutions and develop human resources to manage climate change induced coastal flooding and sea-level rise risks through institutional alignment, training of key personnel and knowledge generation, Reduce exposure of coastal communities in Monrovia Metropolitan Area (MMA) to risks related Climate Change induced coastal flooding and sea-level rise by implementing critical coastal protection measures, and Enhance livelihood options of climate affected and displaced by supporting on-going social protection housing programs and small medium enterprise development.

Six hundred seventy-four households mostly from the West Point Township have so far been displaced.

A further 30,000 are likely to be displaced within the next 5 years even with the enactment of coastal protection measures described above.

The Implementing Partner (IP) is required to implement the project in compliance with UNDP rules and regulations, policies and procedures, including the NIM Guidelines.

UNDP will manage the funds from GCF, and will disburse quarterly in advance against agreed work plans, to a project account managed by the IP. The IP will deliver reporting, auditing and M&E requirements of the government to UNDP, in line with UNDP requirements.

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