The Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia, on Saturday , September 11, 2021 launched Liberia’s first Eco-Brigade, in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, named and styled , the “Piso Eco-Brigade “. The launch of the Piso Eco-Brigade stems from SCNL’s commitment and dedication to the protection and wise use of our biodiversity and how their effective usage can boost a healthy and robust ecosystem. The Piso Eco-Brigade, is a youth volunteer initiative that focuses on inspiring youth stewardship of the environment around the Lake Piso Multiple Use Reserve while empowering about sixty (60) young people (29 women and 31 men, inclusive of the disabled ) with start up money in the tone of US $ 400.00 each as small business start up seed money, while they work to protect and clean their environment. The money was provided by the United Nations Development Program, UNDP.
Why Robertsport ? Please note that the City of Robertsport is one of Liberia’s most important tourists sites and is surrounded by Lake Piso , a natural lake that showcases the beauty of nature in Liberia. Robertsport is also entrenched with different species of mangroves that are important for the nesting of fishes and they are some of the natural mitigation mechanisms for climate change. The City of Robertsport also has beautiful beaches that are a center of attraction for tourists and locals. It is at the center of our ecotourism industry. Against this background, SCNL in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forestry Development Authority, The Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Internal affairs and with sponsorship provided by the United Nations Development Program launched the Piso Eco-Brigade over the weekend .
The Piso Eco-Brigade ambassadors are trained to clean the city of Robertsport and serve as community watch-team on the prevention of plastic waste into the lake and sea, prevention of the cutting and destroying of mangroves , prevention of feces waste and other waste matter that threaten our environment. The Piso- Eco-Brigade will work with law enforcement to ensure that violators of the environmental laws prohibiting these adverse consequences are brought to book. The program was launched by Honorable, Randall M. Dobayou, II, Deputy Executive Director at the Environmental Protection Agency who represented , his boss, Honorable Tarpeh. He stressed that it was important that members of the Piso Eco-Bridgade owned the process and be responsible citizens by ensuring that they work with all diligence as their actions would help keep our environment safe. He also provided stats on why it was important to protect the mangroves and hoped that the issue of plastic waste into the lake and sea would be significantly mitigated because of their will to act to protect their environment. For his part, the United Nations Development Program, Resident Representative in Liberia, Mr. Stephen Rodriques , applauded the Piso Eco-Bridage on their audacity to ensuing that their environment was protected from all forms of environmental pollutants. He stressed three (3) portion of the SDGs that focused on People , Planet and Nature. He summarized those three (3) words into an action message stating that when people act right to protect their planet from environmental degradation that comes about through unsustainable human actions , then, the planet would become a place where nature can be enjoyed by all mankind. He also assured SCNL that the UNDP was fully committed to supporting the successful implementation of this process. There were also remarks made by the Superintendent of Grand Cape Mount County, Honorable Aaron B. Vincent, Honorable Debra Nebo , Deputy Minister for Small Business Administration, Ministry of Commerence and Industry; While representatives of the heads of the Ministry of Youth and Sports , the Forestry Development Authority and the Liberian National Police , represented by its county commander, Hon. Mulbah also made remarks. The Captain of the Piso Eco-Brigade, Mr. Hassan Perry , thanked SCNL, her partners and the United Nations Development Program for the confidence reposed in them and that they as the ambassadors of the Piso Eco-brigade were committed to making this program a success. The launch was also marked by an educative environmental protection drama demonstrated by members of the Piso Eco-Brigade ; display of cultural performances by the local culture troupe and ended with a group photo. See a pictorial of the program below. United Nations Development Programme – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) #UNDPLIBERIA