Liberia: EPA, UNDP Organize National Gender Dialogue on – Revision of Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contributions

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The dialogue, which ­ is being funded by the UNDP and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the UNDP Global Climate Promise Initiative seeks to provide and encourage the participation and contributions of women in the revision process as well as implementation of Liberia’s NDC.

Ganta, Nimba County – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia in collaboration with United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday began a two-day national dialogue aimed at ­integrating gender into the revision process of Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

Liberia is currently revising its NDC aimed at meeting its emissions reduction targets in five sectors; Energy, Forestry, Agriculture, Waste and Transport under the Paris Agreement with possible inclusion of other sector(s) not addressed in the previous Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) captured.

Liberia, as one of the signing members immediately committed herself to the process thus by producing her INDC with the ambition to reduce emission by -15%. As ambitious as Liberia’s INDC is, it didn’t consider Gender inclusiveness, even though climate change affects women greatly.

Climate Change has a greater impact on women population in Liberia, because they are the group that mostly rely on natural resources for their livelihoods and have the least capacity to respond to natural hazards, such as landslides, floods and sea erosions.

The dialogue, which ­ is being funded by the UNDP and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the UNDP Global Climate Promise Initiative seeks to provide and encourage the participation and contributions of women in the revision process as well as implementation of Liberia’s NDC.

It is being held under the theme: “Women Leading 4 -C limate Action; a catalyst for Liberia’s NDC ambition.”

Giving special remarks and officially launching the dialogue, the EPA Deputy Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou said the inclusion of gender, especially women in the revision process of the country’s NDC is – because women are mostly vulnerable and at the same time are affected by climate change.

“We brought you here to take ownership, because anything that happens to the environment affects you the most; the environment is at risk. For example, our weather conditions have changed thereby affecting our rain – pattern in Liberia today and that is because of climate change,” Mr. Dobayou said.

The EPA Deputy boss also stated that it is important for women to be included in the revision process because women are forceful in making sure that the right things are done in all aspects of their lives and as such joining the fight to combat climate change is critical.

“Your involvement is key and necessary in this process for so many reasons. When you make your garden and farm these days, there is inadequate rain to enable effective growth of your plants which leads to the reduction in the food supply and other things; so, one way or the other, climate change affects every gender,” stated the EPA deputy boss.

Also giving special remarks, the Programme Manager of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) at UNDP, E. Abraham S. Tumbey Jr. stated that it is important to include a broad-based participation in the revision process of Liberia’s NDC.

“The representation of all stakeholders in this process is key and if you look at the population of Liberia, you’ll get to know that the population of young people constitutes a very significant part of the majority; alongside that majority, we also recognized that the population of women is high as well,” stated Mr. Tumbey.

­Tumbey further said, that is while the participation of the male gender is ‘appreciated’ in almost all meetings, it is also important that female participation be -prioritized.

“At this meeting, you’ll see a lot of the actors involved in promoting gender equality and women empowerment issues and the hope is that their participations in this meeting will allow them to ensure that the key issues related to gender be manifested in this document,” ­ Tumbey stressed.

For her part, – Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Alice Johnson Howard stated that the -ministry – is committed to – ensuring that the women of Liberia take ownership of Liberia’s NDC.

“Why it is important to note that climate change has a great impact on women particularly in countries like ours and that women mostly rely on natural resources for livelihood, women continue to be vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” Said Deputy Minister – Howard.

The dialogue is ongoing at a time ­ when Liberia is about to submit a ‘major’ document (NDC) to the United Nations.

Climate change is one of the most important societal issues currently facing the world. Recent weather events across Liberia have sparked growing interest in understanding the role of global warming in driving extreme weather. These events are part of a new pattern of more extreme weather across the globe, shaped in part by human-induced climate change.

There is a direct relationship between gender equality, women’s empowerment and climate change. On one hand, women are disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which could, in turn, exacerbate existing gender disparities. On the other hand, women have unique knowledge and skills that can help make the response to climate change more effective and sustainable.

At the end of the dialogue, the women of Liberia are expected to present a statement on key gender issues for consideration in Liberia’s NDC.

UNDP through the Climate Promise Initiative is collaborating with the Government of Liberia to enhance its climate ambition while ensuring inclusive stakeholders participation considering different needs and opportunities to improve interventions.

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