Liberia: UNDP, EPA Organize Youth Dialogue for the Revision of Liberia’s NDC to the Paris Agreement

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Ganta, Nimba County – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Tuesday, organized a two-day  National Youth dialogue for the revision of Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement.

Liberia’s intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) was first developed in 2015, the country intends to submit a revised NDC in 2021 with intent to enhance its ambition.

Liberia’s INDC includes one component on mitigation and one on adaptation. The extent of implementation of the intended contributions on mitigation and adaptation stated in Liberia’s NDC are conditioned upon the provision of adequate means of implementation by the international community (financial resources, capacity building and the transfer of technologies).

On the other hand, the NDCs are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of these long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change

The Paris   Agreement requires all Parties to put together their best efforts through nationally determined contributions  (NDCs) to be reviewed periodically.    Through the Paris Agreement, Parties also agreed to a long-term goal for adaptation – to increase the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production.

Under its global climate promise initiative,     UNDP  Liberia has provided funding support to the Government of Liberia to enable broad-based and exclusive youth participation in the revision of Liberia’s          Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aimed at meeting its emissions reduction targets in 5 sectors, namely Energy, Forestry, Agriculture,      Waste and      Transport under the       Paris    Agreement with the possible inclusion of other sector(s) that the previous NDC didn’t capture.

Proxying for the Acting Executive Director of the EPA Rndall Dobayou, the National Focal Point for the UNFCCC, Prof.  Benjamin S. Karmorh, Jr. welcomed the participants to the dialogue and encouraged the young people in joining the global community in voicing development actions of climate change, undertaken by countries over the years. “Those development actions that countries have overtaken over the years and Liberia is no exception when it comes to taking about climate change which has been identify as a major threat to human development,” stated Prof. Karmorh.

He  added that because the Paris agreement was ratified by the government of Liberia in 2018, the government is committed to ensuring that Liberia especially the youth gets on par with the global community as it relates to climate change.

“..at that meeting Liberia clearly indicated to the global community that the role of the young people in the revision of the NDC is very important and in this process, we do not intend to leave no one behind,” stressed the UNFCCC focal point.

Making remarks on behalf of the UNDP, the Program manager of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), E. Abraham Tumbey jr., stated that his institution has committed to supporting the government of Liberia in the revision of it’s NDCs at the same time taking a civic notice of the need for inclusive participation.

“You will all agree with me that the youth population constitutes the single most majority and as such, if a decision is being made regarding future development with respect to climate change, it is very important that the youth community play a very active role in the process,” stated Mr. Tumbey.

He revealed that over the next months, the organizers of the dialogue will be working closely with young people through different youth groups in the country, and the program Focal point to ensure that the aspiration of the youth community is ‘clearly’ manifested in the revision process.

“…and the youth community needs to take charge by ensuring that they play the advocacy and supporting role that is needed to ensure that Liberia implements its NDC commitments,” he revealed.

Explaining more on the importance of the revision of the NDCs by young people, the National Focal point for the action for climate Empowerment (AEC) at the EPA, Teddy P. Taylor explained that because young people by demographics form a larger part of Liberia’s population, in terms of acting to combat climate change they [young people] need to be consulted as well.

“Young people have the energy and the passion; so, when it comes to crafting a development agenda as it relates to a climate change goal, we must have a broad based stakeholders participation,” stated Taylor.

Taylor added that the idea about having a dialogue on the NDCs exclusively with young people was to get the full participation of youths.

“Most times when we are taken in the midst of the older folks, our participation can be minimum and so we thought that having a separate dialogue where all young people can come and talk about climate change issues is the way,” he added.

He hopes that, with the revision process, young people will have a voice by coming up with a ‘youth position’ on the entire process as it relates to them having a better understanding  and contributing to all the sectors highlighted in the document (NDC).

“It’s about educating and building their capacity on what this document is about, understanding the deliverables, how each of these sectors affect them and what steps they can take as young people to mitigate some of these things,” averred Taylor.

The ACE focal point is however calling on the entire population to not only take the issue of climate change as a matter of science but also as a developmental issue.

“Climate change cut across all sectors of our country; now if you talk about coastal issue, 9 out of 15 counties are coastal counties so when there is an issue of climate change critical infrastructure will be damaged in our country,” he stressed

The over 80 Participants at the Youth Dialogue include leaders of National and local youths institutions, youth organizations that are into climate change and the environment and the physically challenged.

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