The Liberian Youth for Climate Action (LYCA) recently held a day-long multi-stakeholder national and youth consultative dialogue on the Conference of the Parties (COP27).
The day-long dialogue brought together participants from various communities and schools, including the University of Liberia, Stella Maris, UMU, and AMEU, among others.
It was sponsored by the British Embassy in Monrovia, and the dialogue focused on the technology mechanism and youth outcome of COP27, adaptation, political will at COP27 from world leaders’ decisions, including Liberia, climate finance, loss and damage, etc.
It was held under the theme, "COP27 Outcomes: Challenges, Prospects, and Opportunities for Liberians."
The dialogue offered an opportunity for panelists to advocate for communities that need critical attention and for attendees to challenge common misconceptions about the current climate crisis.
In his opening address, Ezekiel Nyanfor, Executive Director of the LYCA, said the dialogue was to ensure that young people deepened the conversation on climate advocacy in communities and globally.
According to Nyanfor, the dialogue on the post COP27 was to ensure that they have one unit for a strong Liberian voice for the implementation of the Sharm El Sheik implementation.
"We want our voices as Liberians, who are the future generation, to be considered in climate and environmental conversations," Nyanfor said.
He further reiterated that the dialogue was also intended for young people to have fun and especially look at the outcome of COP27, particularly on the action for climate empowerment and youth.
It can be recalled that COP27 assembled more than 46,000 delegations from nearly 200 countries, including Liberia, in Egypt for two weeks to drive forward sustainable actions to fight climate change as the world continues to battle with the existential scourge of weather fluctuations driven largely by human activities.
Unlike previous COPs, the 2022 COP27 conference was extended after the negotiations stalled over the terms calling for wealthy polluters (developed countries) to provide "loss and damage" funding—a major agenda put forward by the African Group of Negotiators—for countries ruined by climate disasters, as well as over-ratcheting up ambition in tackling global warming.
For his part, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, Executive Director for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), extolled the organizer for bringing together young people to talk about climate change.
According to him, the issue of climate change is something that many countries around the world talk about without implementing, and as such, it is very important for you people to join the process.
Tarpeh urged young people to take the issues of climate change seriously because it has the propensity to cause harm to farmers and the environment as well.
He then disclosed to the participants that Liberia has the political will to fight climate change, noting that under the leadership of President George M. Weah, they are willing to combat the menace of climate change in the country.
Remarks were also made by the Deputy British Ambassador to Liberia, Kate Thomson, on behalf of Ambassador Neil Bradley as a panelist. Meanwhile, excitement, cheers, and important conversations about climate justice and the inclusion of young Liberians in climate negotiations dominated the conversations. LYCA used the occasion to express gratitude to some participants with a certificate of honor, particularly within the climate change advocacy community.