As students at the University of Liberia (UL) anticipate the resumption of 2019/2020 second semester online studies, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has presented a consignment of textbooks on environmental studies.
The handover ceremony, which took place on July 14, 2020, was held on UL Capitol Hill campus in Monrovia.
The materials, which are worth over the US $16,000, were procured under the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Project spearheaded by the UNDP in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The textbooks are to be used for the new graduate and undergraduate programs on Environmental Studies. The program was introduced and launched about a year ago under the NAPs project.
Speaking at the event, UL President Dr. Julius Nelson expressed appreciation to UNDP, EPA, and Partners for the opportunity given, especially to young people who are interested in Climate Change Studies.
Dr. Nelson disclosed that over 120 students have enrolled in both the undergraduate and graduate programs, adding that it was a key milestone of Goal 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and capacity development.
He emphasized that the UL administration will continue to explore all avenues and channels of resource mobilization to sustainably improve the relevance of climate change studies in the country. “Ideas and projects will help generate funds,” says Nelson.
The UL President pointed out that the program also needs a fully functional statistic lab that will improve the research and technological skills of students enrolling in the program.
Meanwhile, in remarks, the Governance Pillar Head at UNDP James Monibah, called on stakeholders, including development partners and the private sector, to support the graduate program as an institution of knowledge, research, and capacity building aimed at addressing the impacts of climate change.
But Monibah acknowledged and applauded the partnership and collaboration with the EPA in implementing the NAPs project and supporting capacity building at the national and sectoral levels.
He also lauded the leadership of the University of Liberia for taking bold steps in establishing the graduate program in environment and climate change and for ensuring that the program is sustained beyond the project support.
“The enrollment of students into the Graduate Program is a giant step forward in bridging the identified capacity gap in the environment and climate change, and will support Liberia’s efforts towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” says Monibah.
A representative from the EPA, Benjamin Karmorh, who is the Focal Point on Climate Change Enabling Activities, also appreciated the efforts made under the NAPs Project to ensure that students interested in the program now have another opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills.
Mr. Karmorh stressed that a dedicated ICT infrastructure platform is needed to improve environmental programs at the university in order to help build resilience, tackle environmental challenges, and turn students into entrepreneurs.