EPA, UNDP Want Climate Change Captured in Nat’l Budget

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Cross-section of participants at the meeting.

…For climate change activities

A two-day technical working session on practical tools and methods to incorporate Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) into planning and budgeting processes got underway on Thursday August 15, 2019 in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, a release has said.

According to the release, the meeting is organized by the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA), the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with support from the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) Project, which is bankrolled by the Green Climate Fund.

Technicians and experts from line ministries and agencies and representatives of non-governmental organizations are attending the forum, which seek to review content of a draft toolkits developed by the national consultant for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning and budgeting processes.

UNDP CCA mainstreaming consultant, Dehpue Y. Zuo, said that participants are also expected to provide technical input on CCA budgeting and planning at the local and national levels.

Zuo told the forum that participants will also present useful tools for incorporating climate change issues, problem analysis; program formulation, cost and benefit analysis, implementation and monitoring.

EPA Deputy Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou, stressed the need to include climate change activities in the national budget, because it cuts across and affects every sector of the country.

He said that countries around the world are now allotting money in their budget for climate change activities, and made specific reference to Costa Rica, which according to him, is appropriating US$100 million annually into its budget to fight climate change.

“The people who are responsible to draft those countries’ budgets did not forget to capture climate change activities in their national budgets,” Dobayou said.

He said climate change is real and its impacts are becoming more visible in several places including Sinoe, Grand Bassa and Montserrado counties.

He underscored the need to start planning to address imminent dangers posed by the impacts of climate change by allotting money to address the impacts of climate change.

Dobayou used the occasion to dismissed speculations that EPA was receiving huge donor funding, but said that money coming from partners are not directly coming into the agency’s account.

According to him, Liberia stands the risk of not accessing about US$50 million, if the country does not budget for climate change activities, because according to him, GCF might ask for a US$10 million co-financing.

“How do you access the money when you don’t have money budgeted?” he asked.

EPA Manager for Planning and Policy, Z. Elijah Whapoe, expressed gratitude over the turnout of financial and other expects at the training.

Whapoe said that sustainable development cannot be carried out in the absence of environmental sustainability.

Whapoe said that the EPA is also doing National Environment Action Plan, which will present the condition of the environment in a problematic format.

He said that both reports are being done with funding provided under the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP). UNDP Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Team Leader, Dorsla Farcarthy, then asked the audience to fully participate in the meeting, and ensured that they properly review the document.

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