A useful information center that would provide data about Climate Change and analyses about the Liberian environment has been launched by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) Randall M. Dobayou on Tuesday September 23, 2020 launched the new website dubbed as the ‘Climate Change Knowledge Sharing Platform’ (CCKSP) that facilitates easy access to relevant climate information, data, events, and training courses. The initiative is additional information that will provide the opportunity for students studying Environmental Science and Management at the University of Liberia’s Graduate School.
Built in December 2019 by Resilience, an international firm, the CCKSP (http://ccksp.gnf.tf/) synchronized existing climate information platforms used in other government departments and will allow national, regional and international networks and research institutions to connect and access the same climate information.
The new platform, which is being hosted by the EPA, was built by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), would serve as a repository of knowledge products, which will contribute to the sustainability of the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) project.
It is also designed to contribute to the sustainability of national adaptation efforts in general by creating highly accessible information systems and strengthening capacity for knowledge sharing between different groups during and beyond the lifetime of the current project.
Speaking at the launch of the platform in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, EPA Acting Executive Director Dobayou said the website is for Liberia and for all Liberians because “It is a knowledge platform exclusively dedicated to professional actors, students and policymakers.”
Mr. Dobayou emphasized that the platform also has information on climate change and on how these very information would affect gender, energy, fishery, forestry, transportation, weather, water, waste and other socio-economic activities.
He disclosed that the website has several features including a column for children named ‘kids corner’ where climate information would be made very simple for children.
“Today, I am glad that we have completed a long journey which was initiated considering the limited capacity for knowledge management which we identified during the stocktaking exercise for Liberia National Adaptation Plan five years ago,” he said.
According to him, after identifying such a need, it was concluded that it was urgently necessary to develop climate change knowledge and the building of capacities.
Interestingly, this initiative is perfectly in alignment with article 12 of the Paris Agreement. Article 12 of the agreement requires parties to take appropriate measures to enhance climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information, Mr. Dobayou indicated.
He noted that EPA as a national competent authority of Liberian responsible for environmental governance and climate change, the agency is very cognizant of its roles and responsibilities.
Mr. Dobayou lauded UNDP and the GCF for the successful execution of the website.
Speaking on behalf of UNDP Resident Representative, Pa-LaminBeyai, Mr. DorslaFarcarthy described the launch as historic and disclosed that it will further facilitate the expansion of knowledge and the building of capacities for climate change adaptation.
“In a year when the world’s attention is focused on COVID-19, our presence here will send a resounding message of our collective commitment to post pandemic recovery, Mr. Farcarthy said.
According to him, Liberia remains vulnerable to climate change and a range of hazards, such as floods, sea erosion and windstorms leading to protracted livelihood losses and posing treat to economic development.
“This continues as a challenge by undermining the country’s efforts to deliver on commitments to important initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.
Mr. Farcarthy further noted that “It recognized that climate data and information knowledge are essential to the NAP process.”
He indicated that it was necessary for Liberia to implement a platform that makes climate data and related information accessible across all sectors since it is cross cutting.
“We continue to see strong leadership and concrete actions emanating from the EPA. UNDP looks forward to strengthening our partnerships and collaboration with the EPA and other partners in support of efforts geared towards advancing climate actions,” the UNDP official said.
He asked EPA to take full ownership of the CCKSP henceforth and ensure that the capacities of the platform are optimized for the benefit of the country and its population.
The launch of the CCKSP was climaxed by the conduct of a training workshop for stakeholders, local authorities and representatives of line ministries, agencies of government, civil society, youth, women organizations, universities and research institutions.
NAP Project Manager, E. Abraham T. Tumbey, said the exercise is intended to train designated sectoral staff on how to input data including reports on the platform.
The first session of the training will mark the formal launch of the platform, followed by sensitization and awareness activities.
Mr. Tumbey disclosed that participants will be introduced to the platform and provided information on how to access and share information on the platform as well as the benefits and opportunities.
This will be followed by one day technical training restricted to a pool of technical experts (focal points, thematic experts, communication teams etc) from the relevant sectors; ministries, agencies & Commissions.
According to Mr. Tumbey technical experts from sectoral government entities attending the training will be required to conduct training for additional staff within their entities.