Liberia: EPA Boss Calls for Collective Effort to Accelerate Action at National Level with focus on the Rio Convention

Mr. Benjamin Karmoh who proxied for the Executive Director said Liberia is a party to the Rio Convention for almost two decades and have worked assiduously to fulfill national obligations within these respective conventions

GANTA, Nimba County – The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh through his Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) Benjamin Karmorh has called on all stakeholders of relevant authorities to work collectively at the national level in the implementation of the Rio Convention; Climate Change, Biodiversity and Desertification.

Mr. Karmorh made this statement during the opening of a three-day Cross-cutting Capacity Development Project (CCCD) validation workshop held under the theme: “Capacity Development Strategy and Action Plan” with the objective of making better decisions to meet and sustain global environmental obligations.

“The implementation of the Rio Convention requires a collective effort of all relevant stakeholders supported with technical and financial support. Doing so will help to accelerate actions at the national level that will lead to transformative stage in protecting the climate, conserving biodiversity and more over trying to stop the rising wave of savanna encroachment”, Mr. Karmorh explained.

The EPA Chief Technical Advisor indicated that the Rio Conventions is intended to address three challenging environmental issues, namely climate change, biodiversity and desertification, citing that at the global and national levels all are aware of the impacts of climate change which is characterized with increased of global temperature resulting into changing in the climate system leading to tropical cyclones, storms, flood, increase in infectious diseases and many other impacts.

According to him, in Africa, the Sahara Desert is noted for a large barren land that threatens the existence of human development and these three environmental conventions are considered prominent in the quest to protect the environment.

He said, Liberia is a party to the Rio Convention for almost two decades and have worked assiduously to fulfill national obligations within these respective conventions by developing national strategies, action plans and reports, adding that the national documentations are intended to address the numerous environmental challenges surrounding the Rio Conventions.

He further underscored the need for the participants to perform the task by critically reviewing the draft document and provide all necessary inputs to ensure that the strategy and action plan reflects the aspirations of the people of Liberia and the objectives of the Rio Conventions.

The EPA Chief Technical Advisor intoned that the completion of the work will provide the opportunity for Liberia to do the following; identify priority issues for action, explore related capacity needs within and across the three thematic areas, catalyze targeted and coordinated action and requests for future external funding and assistance, link country action to the broader national environmental management and sustainable development framework.

At the same time, he admonished all that the validation workshop will produce a country report that is intended to strengthen Liberia’s performance in the domestication of the Rio Convention, adding that the EPA remains resolute and robust in the implementation of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) for which Liberia is a party to.

Mr. Karmorh acknowledged the Project Management Team and the consultants for the satisfactory work done in formulating a draft final report of the Capacity Development Strategy and Action Plan for Liberia and also thank the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for providing technical and financial support to the project.

For his part, the manager for the CCCD Project Mr. Aaron S. M. Wesseh stressed the need for active participation by all stakeholders during the validation of the project document.

“We can only achieve the overall objective of this validation workshop, when all actors in here provide input to this document. This is the only way we are able to mainstream the Rio Convention.”

Speaking further, he disclosed that several consultants were hired under the CCCD project in order to update the country’s National Capacity Self-Assessment that was done in 2005 with the aim to look at the status of progress and challenges.  These issues when identified, will lead to the development of a strategy as to how to overcome these challenges to reach the set objective.

The validation brought together key climate experts from government line ministries, private sector, disable community as well as youth and academic institutions.