The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has donated twenty-five motorbikes and other accessories to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
At an official turn over ceremony at the head office of the EPA, UNDP Liberia Country Director Pa Lamin Beyai said the donation of the motorbikes is intended to boost EPA’s capacity to monitor and collect data for environment compliance, including supportive adaptation planning.
Dr. Beyai stated that the donation is timely and essential to ensuring quality data collection on environmental compliance are ahead to.
“Considering current change in the environment and climate change challenges in Liberia such as deforestation, coastal erosion, pollution of river and coastal waters, raw sewage, and change in temperature and rainfall patterns, there is a demand for capacity building and logistical support for staff of the EPA in meeting the various challenges” says Dr. Beyai.
He mentioned that EPA’s limited capacity to perform its mandatory role as the monitoring, coordinating and supervisory authority for the sustainable management of the environment was recognized in 2015 during a stock-taking exercise conducted by UNDP and the EPA during the formulation process of the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs).
According to him, the NAP’s project, which is supporting the country to advance its preparation for medium-term investment planning in climate sensitive sectors, presents a unique opportunity for UNDP and EPA to work together to build resilience across the sectors.
“It avails the country the opportunity to attract investment and finance to increase development in the key sectors to Liberia’s economic growth,” he revealed.
He indicated that EPA and UNDP partnership has delivered several key results including the recent ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement by the Legislature, which according to him, was done through continuous engagement of key stakeholders such as the EPA, the Legislature, Ministry of State, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs leading to UNDP support for an experience sharing visit to Ghana.
“This shows UNDP’s recognition of the importance for Liberia, as Africa’s first Republic not to be left behind as a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Comate Change (UNFCCC).”
He assured that UNDP will continue its partnership with the EPA and other key government institutions in Liberia to tackle the country’s environmental challenges.
Receiving the keys to the motorbikes, EPA’s Executive Director, Nathaniel Blama lauded the UNDP for its continued support to the Agency and promised the full utilization of the motorbikes by environmental inspectors across the country.
Director Blama said inspectors across the country are in dire need of mobility and donation by UNDP will greatly enhance the capacity of the environmental inspectorate.
Hon. Blama, recounted the tremendous sacrifices environmental inspector encountered across the country in performing their secret duty of protecting wildlife and conservation.
“I remembered the last time EPA inspectors got motorbikes supply was nearly seven years ago which cost a lot to the EPA for maintenance but I am glad that with this donation the EPA can now be assure of greater performance in meeting the desirables set forth under the ‘Pro Poor Agenda’.
He thanked UNDP, which continues to be supportive of EPA’s on-going projects including a program to strengthen its national capacity and resilience.