Liberia: EPA, UNDP to Include Disabled Community in Environmental and Climate Change Decision-making Processes

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MONROVIA – Amidst efforts to create an enabling environment for all, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh has re-echoed the need for the disabled community to be inclusive in every decision making process in the country.

The EPA Executive Director made the statement during a three-day validation workshop over the weekend, when he addressed technicians and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and different line ministries and agencies including the head advocate of the Nimba County Disabled Community Gabriel T. Soh in Gompa City, Nimba county.

According to Prof. Tarpeh, the EPA will be inclusive as possible to always call on people from all walks of life in order to have a vibrant environment. He noted that they are going to work closely with the disabled community in whatever way to make them feel part of the environment.

He indicated that the gesture of the technicians to leave their busy schedules and families during the time of Easter to validate a document is welcoming and shows a high level of patriotism.

“it’s only extra and special people will leave their families, especially this Easter holiday to spend three days reviewing a document; I think you have done very well and I want to say thank you to all,” Prof. Tarpeh said.

For his part, the head advocate for the disabled community in Nimba County, Gabriel T. Soh said that the suggestions made by the disabled community should be taken into serious consideration and should be implemented.

Mr. Soh said, “The eco-stove should be made for the vulnerable people, most especially the disenfranchised, and should be affordable too”. He said, this will make the disabled community know that they were part of the decision-making process.  

He appreciated the EPA and its partners for always recognizing the disabled community in whatever they do and also expressed gratitude to the Government of Liberia (GoL), for seeing the need to include the disabled community as part of the country.

At the same time, he frowned on the government for its failure to make the various ministries and agencies’ buildings disabled-friendly in order to help them move smoothly and ease the burden of struggling to climb huge stairs and high buildings.

The EPA through its Cross-Cutting Capacity Development project (CCCD) with funding from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), conducted a workshop under the theme “Capacity Development Strategy and Action Plan” on the 1992 United Nations Conference Environment and Development (UNCED) informally known as the Earth Summit.

The three-day meeting sought to validate the national capacity, development strategy and action plan for mainstreaming the Rio Convention.

The document aims to facilitate national sensitization of relevant institutions and agencies on the GEF strategies for implementation of the Rio Conventions which include Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change, and Sustainable Land Management.

It also seeks to align the national strategies for biodiversity, climate change, and land management with the capacity development strategy and action plan of the Rio Conventions.

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