Gbarnga, Bong County — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called for a concerted effort in the fight against the effect of climate change in Liberia.
At a two-day inter-ministerial training workshop on mainstreaming environment and climate change information for journalists and environmental focal persons in Gbarnga, Bong County, the Deputy Executive Director of the EPA, Randall Dobayou said the media has a meaningful role to play in combating the effect of climate change, not only in Liberia, but also across the globe.
Mr. Dobayou recounted "significant" strides the EPA and its partners are making in combatting the effects of climate change but noted that most of these interventions are sometimes not known to the wider public because of limited media coverage.
Dobayou explained that some of the recent achievements include the setting up of 11 weather stations in 10 counties to predict, analyze and disseminate important weather information including the level of precipitation and heat index.
Under the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Project, he noted that the EPA in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has begun training community dwellers including rural women on the production of energy-efficient cookstove to reduce concentration of kitchen pollutants, harmful exposures and emission of Green House Gas and forest loss, adding that about 50 energy-saving cook stove were distributed to participants at the end of the training.
He also termed as significant milestone achievements by the EPA and its partners over the crafting of the draft curriculum of the University of Liberia's graduate program in environmental studies and the ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and calling on the media to join the campaign against the crippling effects of climate change.
"Thank you for honoring our call to be here at this very important meeting. We are asking you to take responsibility and take ownership of our scientific environment that we are providing to let information flow freely. We are hoping that this training will help us to mainstream climate and environmental issues in our daily work," he said.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, the Project Officer of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) at the EPA, Arthur R. M. Becker noted that the training was geared towards building the capacity of media practitioners to report on the effect of climate change on the environment.
For her part, the Energy and Environmental Coordinator at the EPA, Salimatu Lamin-Gilayaneh noted that community members were also invited to the forum to enable them to have first-hand information about climate change.
Meanwhile, the participants, among other things, called for more training for journalists including urban and rural broadcasters on climate change issues and vowed to prioritize environmental issues in their reportage.
They called on policy makers to design programs that will help in mitigating and adapting to climate change effects in Liberia as well as data and link to reliable sources of information on climate change; something they believe will serve as vital tools in their reportage. The event was held in the central city of Gbarnga from October 10-11 under the theme "Considering Climate Change in National Decision Making."