Finding ways to tackle climate change, Improving agriculture
The Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL) has participated in a one-day inception workshop, multi-country GCF Readiness, organized by the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA). The inception workshop, under the theme: Accelerating the financing and implementation of low-carbon and climate-resilient priorities in agriculture and energy in African countries, brought together international partners from the World Bank, USAID, NGOs, officials from the Government of Liberia (GOL), and civil society organizations. During the event, presentations were made on; the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI), pan African regional programme, readiness content, activities, action plan, timeline and expected deliverables, methodology of the agriculture climate risk modeling tools, and next step.
Halala Willie Kokulo, Director of Land Development and Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, who proxied for Honorable Jeannie M. Cooper, Minister of Agriculture, in a special statement, appreciated the [cordial working relationship and coordination] between the EPA, and the Ministry of Agriculture. He thanked the EPA for fighting climate change and welcomed everyone for gracing the inception workshop that gearing toward finding ways to improve the climate and the agricultural sector of the country.
In 2015, he said at the African Union Summit, provided a mandate to the African Ministerial Conference on Environmental operation to develop a proposal for enhancing support to Africa on adaptation together with the African groups of negotiators as a result in December 2015, after the African heads of states launched the African Action Initiative (AAI) at COP 21 in Paris.
Mr. Kokulo also said when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2022 Report was released, it reveals the devastating impact of climate change, resulting in severe drought, floods, reduced agriculture production, and water insecurity increased in Africa, particularly, in West Africa’s vulnerable climate hazards. “The AAI is aimed at strengthening collaboration on adaptation across the continental high-level pan-African regional dialogue. Adaptation action on the ground, and addressing adaptation financing gap. It is designed as an initiative for Africa driven by Africans to address the increasing challenges caused by climate change,” he said.
On the greenhouse climate fund, he shared it is a critical element of the Paris Agreement, and it is the world’s largest climate fund mandated to support developing countries to raise funds to contribute toward the low emission climate resilience platform.
Also making remarks were Paul Oliver, Economist, USAID, and Shafick Hoossen, Work Bank, Senior Environmental Specialist. Oliver said over the years, climate change has become a much higher priority of USAID, and as a partner, USAID is observing current and future programs at the Ministry of Agriculture to see how they can work with the ministry. “There is tremendous investment potential in Liberia, particularly, in the forest, and USAID is looking for ways to help maximize the investment potential Liberia has”.
Hoossein said 40% of Liberia is forest, and communities depend on the forest for agricultural activities…but said it is important the forest is maintained while ensuring those depending on it for survival are provided an alternative livelihood, or improvement be made to current livelihood programs that can be climate smart, something he said the World Bank is trying to do through their current forest project and sustainable agriculture component.
Wilson K. Tarpeh, Executive Director, EPA, launching the readiness workshop, said in the Paris Agreement, each country is required to submit its commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gases. And the instrument is called Nationalist Determine Contribution (NDC). In 2021, he added that the EPA came up with a comprehensive NDC, which covers at least nine sectors, including agriculture and energy.
He recognized GoL and international partners’ efforts for working along with the EPA in supporting the fight against climate change. “Our work at EPA is to guide this process and ensure the is achieved. USAID, World Bank, and UNDP are committed, and Liberia stands to gain a lot from the climate change or climate finance program, but it has to be guided so that expectations can’t be raised that can’t be fulfilled within a certain level of time,” he said.