Liberia: EPA, Yale University Sign Biodiversity Conservation Agreement
.... “This observation system will also prioritize where to implement future conservation efforts, including the establishment of new protected areas. Primary field data will not be shared with outside actors unless formally approved by the EPA,” the agreement states.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Yale University have entered a three-year renewable pact for the development of a national species observation and planning system for biodiversity conservation in Liberia.
The agreement signed by Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Dr. Alexander Killion, Managing Director of the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change, seeks to establish a collaborative effort towards developing a national species observation system to monitor and manage the country’s biodiversity, which is home to a wide range of plant and animal species.
According to the MOU, Yale will also develop an online geospatial dashboard for species-specific conservation planning at local, landscape, and national scales.
“In doing so, the parties will co-develop a national sampling protocol with existing EPA staff and partners in the field,” the MOU stated. “It was also agreed that Yale develops a species-specific interactive map using these data to inform species conservation at the local landscape, and national scales.”
This, according to the MOU, will include reporting of species habitat index, species protection index, and species information index.
“This observation system will also prioritize where to implement future conservation efforts, including the establishment of new protected areas. Primary field data will not be shared with outside actors unless formally approved by the EPA,” the agreement states.
Parties to the MOU also agreed that management meetings for planning and evaluation be done at least twice per year while parties will have larger team meetings quarterly to report on and improve project implementation.
These meetings will include training for EPA staff to manage and use the observation system and the development of research projects, while Yale will support the publication of research, communication, and national reporting materials that will be jointly developed.
According to the agreement, Yale will financially support the development and maintenance of the geospatial observation system, training and software materials, and research publications while the EPA will provide staff support to collect species field observation data.
“The parties will jointly solicit additional funds with existing and new partners to increase the project scope, longevity, and the establishment of new conservation areas informed by the observation system,” the MOU said.
Each party may exchange information that promotes the best practices concerning policies and procedures, particularly those related to the quality assurance of joint activities, and designate a liaison officer to develop and coordinate the specific activities agreed upon.
“Through these officers either party may initiate proposals for additional cooperative activities and work to identify the resources needed to carry out the activities described in the MOU,” the document said.