Liberia on 8 December 2021 has launched its National Adaption Plan (NAP) along with the country’s first Adaption Communication (AdCom) intended to help Liberia tackle the issue of climate change through a sound adaptation programme that involves a whole-of-society approach to achieve the goals, vision, and specific objectives.
An array of officials of government, members and heads of foreign missions in Liberia, youth and women groups and other stakeholders participated in the event.
Launching the instruments, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bhofal Chambers explained that the NAP document aligns with Liberia’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development. He said the document helps to coordinate the actions of the government and its partners.
Speaker Chambers urged Liberians to be sensitive to Climate Change and the vulnerability of each sector. He explained that the NAP document reveals that climate change will intensify as temperature changes and that precipitation may affect key sectors such as agriculture, forestry, health, coastal resources, and energy, among others.
He assured the commitment of the government and people of Liberia, to use the NAP and the first Adaption Communication (AdCOM) documents as working tools to realize the goals and objectives therein adding that Liberia’s landscape and economy is highly vulnerable to climate change.
“Together we will promote the NAP and AdCOM documents and enforce their application to ensure that everyone adhere to the principle of compliance when handling our environment,” said Speaker Chambers.
He mentioned that projection in temperature and precipitation indicate that Liberia will continue to be affected by changing climatic conditions, stressing the need for collective actions and decisions to combat climate change and save the environment..
“There is no doubt that resilient and inclusive infrastructure can help change lives, and by changing our habits, as communities and people, we can surely tackle the climate emergency and build a suitable Liberia and the world at large,” Speaker Chambers noted.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Gender and Children Protection, Madam Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr, emphasized that in the case of natural disasters caused by climate change, women and children are often the most affected, hence, the need to put in place mechanisms that will reduce vulnerability.
Making remarks at the launch, UNDP Liberia Deputy Resident Representative Violet Baffour recognized the importance of the Adaptation Communication, highlighting the vital role of the local people in addressing climate change and other development issues.
Ms. Baffour noted that the use of local languages would increase the awareness needed to assist in preparing and implementing adaptation measures, such as adjustments in local systems and practices to reduce the likely impacts of climate change.
“One key lesson learnt was from the Ebola crisis of 2014-15 in Liberia which not only revealed that existing community coping mechanisms can be effectively utilized to prepare, mitigate and eventually respond to crisis, but also the dearth in risk reduction capacities and resilience at the local level,” Baffour stressed.
She called for the Adaptation Communication to target women and youth populations who represent the largest segment of the country and are the most vulnerable to climate change impacts and the segment with the greatest potential to drive change
The UNDP Deputy Boss also emphasize the need for national efforts aimed at climate change adaptation to involve livelihood support for the vulnerable population as a way of enhancing their resilience and ability to cope with the impact of climate change
She concluded by expressing appreciation to the Green Climate Fund for supporting the National Adaption Plan for Liberia as well as other climate action initiatives for the country.
Mr. John R. Pasch who represented USAID and the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia congratulated Liberia for finalizing the documents, which he said, means that Liberia is ready to take on greater challenges.
According to him, at the COP 26 in Glasgow, President Joe Biden launched the Emergency Plan for Adaption and Resilience otherwise known as PREPARE.
“This Plan will support developing countries and communities in vulnerable situations around the world in their efforts to adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change,” Pasch noted.
He said, PREPARE is a U.S. Government’s global initiative that would match up to Liberia’s National Adaption Plan and disclosed that the USAID has invested US$25 million in helping with conversation in Liberia.
Mr. Pasch added that USAID is also working with the Ministry of Agriculture and smallholder farmers to introduce climate smart method of farming.