The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) yesterday donated 25 motorbikes and basic accessories to authorities of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for environmental monitoring and data collection initiatives across the country.
UNDP Country Director, Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai, made the donation in Monrovia, which was received by EPA Executive Director, Nathaniel T. Blama.
Dr. Beyai said that the donation is necessary because there are numerous current environment and climate change challenges in the country, including deforestation, coastal erosion, pollution of rivers and coastal waters, raw sewage, change in temperature and rainfall patterns that demand partners to adequately equip the EPA to face these challenges.
“This donation is intended to boost EPA’s capacity to monitor and collect data for environmental compliance, while at the same time supporting adaptation planning,” Beyai said.
He spoke of the agency’s limited capacity to monitor, coordinate and supervise the sustainable management of the environment that was recognized in 2015 during a stock-taking exercise UNDP conducted at the formulation process of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP).
The NAP’s project, which is supporting the country to advance its preparation for medium-term investment planning in climate sensitive sectors, presents a unique opportunity for UNDP and EPA to work together to build resilience across the sectors.
“It avails the country the opportunity to attract investment and finance to increase development in the key sectors to Liberia’s economic growth,” Dr. Beyai said.
He said that EPA and UNDP partnership has delivered several key results, including the recent ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement by the Legislature which, according to him, was done through continuous engagement of key stakeholders such as the EPA, the legislature, ministries of State and Foreign Affairs, leading to UNDP’s support for an experience sharing visit to Ghana.
“This shows UNDP’s recognition of the importance for Liberia as Africa’s first republic not to be left behind as signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”
Beyai assured that UNDP will continue its partnership with the EPA and other key government institutions to tackle the country’s environmental challenges.
Mr. Blama, upon receipt of the logistics, lauded the UNDP for its support, and promised that the motorcycles would be used by inspectors for the intended purpose.
According to him, the last time EPA’s inspectors received a motorbike supply was seven years ago, and disclosed that EPA now spends a lot on the repair of motorbikes previously assigned to inspectors.
Blama thanked UNDP for its continuous support and said that the agency has been supportive of EPA’s on-going projects, including a program to strengthen its national capacity and resilience.