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EPA, UNDP Want Gov’t Allot Money In Budget For Climate Change Activities

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Buchanan – A two-day technical working session on practical tools and methods to incorporate Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) into planning and budgeting processes got underway on Thursday, August 15, 2019, in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

The meeting is organized by the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA), the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with support from the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) Project, which is bankrolled by the Green Climate Fund.

Technicians and experts from line Government ministries and agencies and representatives of non-governmental organizations are attending the forum, which among many others seek to review the content of the draft toolkits developed by the national consultant for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning and budgeting processes.

UNDP CCA Mainstreaming Consultant Dehpue Y. Zuo said participants are also expected to provide technical input on CCA budgeting and planning at the local and national level.

Zuo told the opening session of the two-day forum that participants will also present useful tools for incorporating climate change issues, problem analysis; program formulation, cost, and benefits analysis, implementation and monitoring.

Also speaking, EPA Deputy Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou stressed the need to include climate change activities in the national budget because it cut across and, affects every sector of the country.

He disclosed that countries around the world are now allotting money in their budget for climate change activities and made specific reference to Costa Rica, which according to him is appropriating US$ 100 million annually into its budget to fight climate change.

Hon. Dobayou noted that the countries are mainstreaming climate change into their planning and budgeting processes.

“The people who are responsible to draft those countries’ budgets didn’t forget to capture climate change activities in their national budgets.”

He said climate change is real and its impacts are becoming more visible in several places including Sinoe, Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties.

The EPA Deputy Director underscored the need to start planning to address imminent dangers post by the impacts of climate change by allotting money to address the impacts of climate change.

Hon. Dobayou used the occasion to dismissed speculations that EPA was receiving huge donor funding and explained that money coming from its partners is not directly coming into the agency’s account.

According to him, Liberia stands the risk of not accessing about US$ 50 million if the country doesn’t budget for climate change activities because according to him GCF might ask for a US$ 10 million co-financing.

“How do you access the money when you don’t have money budgeted?” he asked.

For his part, EPA Manager for Planning and Policy, Z. Elijah Whapoe expressed happiness over the turnout of financial and other experts at the training.

He said that sustainable development can’t be carry out in the absence of environmental sustainability.

According to him, a similar forum was held when he was the Comptroller at the EPA, but “that gathering was much smaller and not well planned like this one here”.

He disclosed that the EPA was finally doing the second State of the Environment Report since the first one was released in 2006.

Mr. Whapoe indicated that the EPA is also doing the National Environment Action Plan which, according to him, will present the condition of the environment in a problematic format.

He noted that both reports are being done with funding provided under the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP).   United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Team Leader, Dorsla Farcarthy asked the audience to fully participate in the meeting and ensured that the document is properly looked at.

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