Liberia: EPA, Partners Organize Private Sector Dialogue on the Revision of Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contribution

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Paynesville – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the European Union (EU), Conservation International (CI) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) last Thursday organized and launched a private sector dialogue on the revision process of Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

The event which took place outside of Monrovia in the city of Paynesville was graced by a conglomeration of private sector actors under the banner Liberia Private Sector Climate Action Alliance (LIFSCAA), students, officials of government and the donor community.

The dialogue was held under the theme “Private Sector – a Catalyst in Boosting NDC Implementation for a Resilient Economy.”

However, the objective of the event was to provide and encourage the participation and contribution of the private sector in the revision process of the NDC.

The importance of the private sector in supporting Liberia’s Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) actions was established in its Initial National Communication in 2013 and INDC in 2015 with the energy sector as a major producer of Green House Gases (GHGs) in Liberia amounting to 67.5% and 13.9% nationally

During the stocktaking exercise of the NAP in 2015, the private sector was recognized as a key player in Climate Change Adaptation in Liberia with the following role: (i) identification and implementation of strategies to reduce GHGs emissions, (ii) provision and sales of climate-sensible technologies and services, and (iii) funding of CCA projects.

Making opening remarks, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh applauded everyone for gracing the occasion while announcing that the EPA along with the government have already taken some steps that will enable Liberia to fight effectively against the issue of climate change.

“Some of the steps we’ve taken include the establishment of a National Climate Change Secretariat; we are going to develop a National Climate Change policy so that we are able to respond swiftly to situations that are affecting the environment…,” announced the EPA boss.

Moreover, Prof. Tarpeh added that about 9.5 million United States dollars was given by international partners to the government of Liberia to target resilient agriculture.

“All these interventions, as much as they are critical, need to be given substantive action and that can only come about with involvement of the private sector; why because the private sector has always been at the heart and soul of driving the economy,” stressed Prof. Tarpeh.

Also speaking, the Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP in Liberia, Madam Violet Baffour applauded Sida for its contribution to the UNDP Climate Promise Initiative, which is supporting Liberia to revise its NDC, among others.

“Liberia remains vulnerable to climate change and a range of hazards, such as floods, sea erosion and windstorms leading to protracted livelihood losses and posing threat to economic development, including private businesses. This continues as a challenge by undermining the country’s efforts to deliver on commitments to important initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals,” stated Madame Baffour.

Introducing the Liberia Public Sector Climate Action Alliance (LIPSCAA), the Acting Chairman of LIPSCAA, Franklin Jackson applauded all the stakeholders involved in the decision-making process of climate change, especially, the EPA for tremendously developing policies for both the adaptation and mitigation of adopting climate change in Liberia.

“But there is still a lot of work that needs to be completed; Liberia has several private sector entities that are engaged in activities straightly and directly related to climate change activities. Today, we have come together to form an alliance, I want to say that we want to take this alliance into a climate change chamber of commerce,” stressed Mr. Jackson.

He stated that because Liberia is not immune to the effects of climate change his organization have investigated and have  come to the conclusion that profits can be added to climate change projects within the private sector.

“One of the misconceptions in the past is that things like climate change should be supported by donor funds, NGO activity and other means doing climate change projects,” stated LIPSCAA acting chairman.

Private sector stakeholders at the Dialogue have set up a private sector working group on climate adaptation to remain engaged with the EPA, National Investment Commission, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and other actors in fostering access to private sector financing and public private partnerships to fund climate change adaptation initiatives in Liberia.

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