Randall M. Dobayou of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says Liberia is committed to achieving its goals to end poverty and ensure low-carbon, climate-resilient development.
According to the EPA Deputy Executive Director, the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) project has identified key private sector individuals and institutions who can play a key role in adaptation investment.
Mr. Dobayou said in 2019, Liberia will begin robust engagement with the private sector, by providing capacity building and identifying areas for private sector investment in climate smart agriculture, renewable energy and eco-tourism.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a Green Climate Fund (GCF) Adaptation Rationale workshop held in the Philippines.
In an interview with media specialist Hee Kyung So of the GCF, Dobayou said that: “Liberia has received a grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is enabling the country to finalize a proposal for developing a Monrovia Metropolitan Coastal resilient project, which will support Liberia’s goals to end poverty and ensure low-carbon, climate-resilient development.
The EPA Executive mentioned that this project is intended to safeguard coastal livelihoods and infrastructure and offset the risks posed by sea level rise and coastal erosion in the city of Monrovia which comprises more than a quarter of the country’s population.
Liberia is a country with a poor population heavily dependent on natural resources for livelihood and export earnings.
The country is highly vulnerable to climate change due to limited infrastructure and services. Coastal erosion, increase in temperature, flooding and storms are having significant impact on the country.
Randall Dobayou noted that a NAPs coordination mechanism has been set up to mobilize broad stakeholders’ participation in the project.
“The NAPs project benefits from the involvement of broad stakeholders within government ministries, universities, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, local communities and women groups,” says Dobayou.
He noted that women are drivers of change and they can be gender champions, driving adaptation initiatives in the country with their involvement in various project activities and capacity building programmes.
“The gender activities of the project allows for empowerment and taking up of the leadership role by both women and men. Women are drivers of change and we believe that by mainstreaming gender in the project, we can also have them as gender champions driving adaptation initiatives in the country.”
Dobayou added that using social media as a tool for communications has proven to be successful in enhancing stakeholders’ participation and raising public awareness about the importance of climate change. “National ownership and participation are central to the lasting success of this project,” Randall intimated.
The first GCF Adaptation Rationale workshop which took place in Cebu, Philippines 14-17 November 2018 was aimed at accelerating and strengthening support for GCF Direct Access Entities (DAEs) and countries preparing adaptation project pipelines based on key elements of climate rationale, building from adaptation planning processes and other support.
One of the objectives was to support countries in ensuring strong implementation of their approved adaptation planning proposals through the GCF Readiness Programme to catalyse action and finance, by drawing on learning from a combination of international specialists and early country movers.
The increase in political will since the inauguration of the current leadership has enabled Liberia to ratify the Paris Agreement and complete the National Climate Change and Response Strategy.
These instruments have been at a standstill for the past three years. Progress in ratifying the Paris Agreement had been slow until the Government of Liberia through the National Legislature made that bold step to ratify the Agreement. Liberia is now a step closer to fostering a low-carbon climate-resilient economy.