At the heart of many of the greatest challenges facing Liberia in its effort to combat climate change, is the lack of trained staff.
The absence of the mentorship and training necessary for them to engage in climate change enabling activities across critical sectors that are most vulnerable to climate change is a challenge.
A stocktaking exercise conducted in preparation for the UNDP National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Project in 2015 established that: the relevant ministries do not have the experts and technicians needed; there is limited training on climate change issues; there is no integration of climate change in the development planning and implementation processes at the sector level and there is a lack of capacity of sectoral ministries to integrate adaptation into their strategies.
Thus, to help mitigate this critical need, training of staff of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in disaster risk management and reduction has become imperative.
With this in mind, the EPA, working with the NDMA identified 5 competent staff, 3 females and 2 males, for the purpose of building their capacity to facilitate the implementation of disaster risk management and reduction strategies.
They are currently in Israel at the Galilee International Management Institute attending a two-week intensive disaster management training which runs from 5-16 December.
Training modules are on Emergency Management as a Profession; National Disaster Management Plan; Emergencies; Public Resilience and Behavior and Crisis Communication and Media Management.
After completing these courses and experience, the trainees will then be prepared to return to the NDMA and provide mentorship to other colleagues in the agency.
Ultimately, it is envisioned that these trainees – and those they mentor – will become the next generation of climate change adaptation champions in the agency to support the development and implementation of disaster strategies and activities for the purpose of increasing resilience.
In this way, the training provided through the UNDP NAPs project will have an exponential multiplier effect.