MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has committed US$ 50,000 for the management and sustainability of the Environmental Knowledge Management System (EKMS), a platform that provides free environmental information from government ministries, agencies and commissions and development partners on the implementation of the Rio Conventions.
The EKMS was created under the Cross-Cutting Capacity Development (CCCD) Project, which is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The CCCD Project aims at strengthening national capacities to meet global environmental obligations within the framework of sustainable development priorities. The project enables Liberia to make better decisions to meet and sustain global environmental obligations; specifically, for Liberia to have the capacity to coordinate efforts as well as best practices for integrating global environmental priorities into planning, decision-making, and reporting processes.
The EKMS is an integrated online knowledge platform which strives to draw on and complement a growing agenda on the Rio Conventions mainstreaming within the natural resources management sector and external partners to scale up environmental initiatives.
The platform is one of the achievements of the CCCD Project.
The CCCD project ends on 30th September 2022; harboring fear that the EKMS, which currently has over 37,000 users including students and researchers globally will collapse after the expiration of period.
Considering the need for the sustainability of the system, the EPA through the CCCD Project team in collaboration with the UNDP and support from GEF held a two-day gathering dubbed as ‘Resident Dialogue on EKMS Implementation and Sustainability’ at Farmington Hotel in Margibi County.
The two-day event was intended to further sell the EKMS to policymakers and institutions of higher learning, whose students are benefiting from the platform and as will seek their financial and moral support for the sustainability of the platform after 30th September 2022.
The meeting attracted representatives of government and non-governmental institutions whose activities and programs directly or indirectly impact the environment.
Apparently, it works very well as the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning promised that beginning in 2023, the EKMS would mainstream the national budget and pledged to underwrite the cost of the system for the next three months including October, November and December.
The UNDP also promised to pay the EKMS staff their outstanding salaries for the months of July, August and September 2022, while the University of Liberia promised to avail her radio station for the dissemination of environmental information relative to the EKMS and the Rio Conventions.
The Liberia Institute and Geo-Information Services LISGIS also promised to provide training opportunities for the EKMS team, while the National Disaster Management Agency also promised to avail her conference hall for the conduct of meetings/ workshops for purposes relative to the EKMS without a fee.
Liberia Land Authority said it would also avail its platform on Freedom FM periodically to create environmental awareness relative to the EKMS.
In a related development, the EKMS will be launched on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at the Monrovia City Hall.
At the official launch of the EKMS, information technologists that were trained to serve as EKMS officers will be certificated.