Liberia: EPA Executive Director, Prof. Wilson Tarpeh, Outlines Gains at the COP 26 Conference Held in Glasgow

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MONROVIA – The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Professor Wilson Tarpeh says from conversations during the sideline meeting at the COP 26 Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, between the Liberian delegation and development partners, Liberia is poised to benefit from its vast and untouched forests that is contributing towards combating climate change globally.

Liberia’s delegation to the COP 26 headed by President George Weah was composed of public, private, local non-governmental organizations, international non-governmental organizations, academia, youth, students and the media.

President Weah’s address to the COP 26 stated the fact that many of the highest carbon stock forests in Liberia contain essential natural capital and ecosystem service benefits; benefits which have so far eluded the country as a developing nation.

“Our economy needs to develop, and we want to do so sustainably. We want to continue to maintain our forest and ecosystem endowments, and our incredible biodiversity, as we embrace climate-smart approaches to agriculture and mining, which are our economic mainstays,” President Weah said.

He added: “We are therefore looking forward to constructive engagements with all interested parties in this regard. The impending United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) will provide yet another opportunity to generate more ambitious climate actions and commitments.”

Speaking at the Ministry of Information Special Press Tuesday, November 23, 2021, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency told journalists that Liberia was recognized as having almost half of the Upper Guinea Forest, one of the three major forests in the world.

According to Mr. Tarpeh, during the COP 26 Conference, development partners were ambitious in mitigating and adapting actions to ensure that Liberia addresses global climate change at the national level.

According to the Executive Director Tarpeh, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Partnership commended the EPA for its exemplary role played in bringing all the major implementing partners together during the development of the updating or revision of Liberia’s NDC and for the completion and submission of Liberia’s revised NDC to the UN Climate Change Secretariat.

“The NDC Partnership assured Liberia of her technical and financial support in setting up an NDC Implementation Unit at the EPA,” he said.

The EPA Executive Director stressed that the NDC partnership has indicated that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Central Bank of Liberia are to be beneficiaries of its support in assisting to set up a functional climate change desk at the Central Bank of Liberia.

Also, at the sideline meeting, the Liberia delegation met with Gustavo A.B.  da Fonseca, the Director of Program of the Global Environment Facility(GEF) and other executives.

Mr. Tarpeh said during the meeting, Mr. Fonseca briefed the EPA Executive on the roles and responsibilities of GEF Operational Focal Point.

“He extended thanks and appreciation to the EPA for being a reliable delivery partner in the execution of GEF’s Activities at the national level and reaffirmed,” he said.

EPA Executive Director added: “Mr. Gutavo also informed me that Liberia was allotted under GEF 7 Star Country Allocation the amount of US$6.13 Million Dollars for intervention into the following focal areas.”

The impacted areas, the EPA boss said would be ranging from food systems, land use and restoration. Mr. Tarpeh also disclosed that an amount of US$10 Million was promised by the UNDP to enhance the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities in Sinoe County, the Southeastern part of Liberia.

“GEF’s commits herself in working with the EPA during the new replenishment period GEF 8 (2023- 2026) and informs that the EPA will be invited to the GEF Assembly next year 2022 when the new star allocation will be announced,” he said.

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