HARBEL, Margibi County – The Government of Liberia through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with The Nature Compact (TNC) on Wednesday, 18 January 2023 commenced a three-day roundtable dialogue on Measuring Reporting Verification (MRV), Climate Finance and Governance in Margibi County.
The summit attracted officials from the EPA, along with national officials from other ministries, including the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Liberia’s Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and Ministry of Internal Affairs (MoI), non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations and institutions of higher learning.
The principal output of the three-day discussion is an ‘Evergreen Roadmap for Liberia’ that identifies specific objectives, priorities, proposed activities, outputs, and intended outcomes that will include strengthening multi-level climate governance and institutional arrangements in Liberia.
The roundtable dialogue also seeks to establish more efficient and effective climate MRV systems and mobilize investments and accelerates priority mitigation actions to achieve Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
Speaking at the opening of the Evergreen Roundtable dialogue, EPA Executive Director, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, lauded the Government of Canada for its support to Liberia.
He recognized the importance of the bilateral support and said that there are lots of core elements associated with the MRV process- climate finance/climate investment and mitigation actions.
According to Prof. Tarpeh, if Liberia must accede to Carbon Trading, then, MRV becomes critical.
He said that the EPA recognizes the relevance of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in addressing environment and critical development needs.
Prof. Tarpeh disclosed that the EPA has adopted a motto: “One government, one people, one country, and one team, and explained that the EPA strongly believes that the Government of Liberia should always be involved from the formative to implementation stages of projects such as the Climate MRV bilateral support.
He admonished participants to come up with a clear and detailed project framework for climate MRV.
For her part, Lisa Marroquin, Novasphare Vice President and Program Director lauded the Government of Liberia for the bilateral support program with the Government of Canada.
NovaSphere is a Canadian-based institution. The institution’s mission is to engage with stakeholders and create solutions to climate change and sustainability, by encouraging and promoting cooperation and collaboration among the public and organizations; gathering, creating and exchanging information with the public and organizations; performing research, including developing and managing research projects; developing and managing conferences, symposia, meetings, exhibitions and events; promoting the study of and providing training, support, development of governance and standards of practice and programmes.
A day before the opening of the roundtable dialogue, Madam Marroquin and her team including Scott Muller had bilateral meetings with authorities of the EPA and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
She explained the success of the bilateral meetings and disclosed that the project would run for a period of three years and emphasized ‘this project is about implementation’.
Also speaking at the opening of the program, the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) national Focal Point for Liberia, Mr. Jefferson F. Nyandibo told participants that the roundtable meeting isn’t an ordinary workshop, but a gathering of some of the country’s brightest minds.
He stressed the need for participants to use the roundtable to develop a roadmap to track climate finance.
Representing the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning at the seminar, Assistant Finance and Development Planning Minister Benedict Kolubah lauded EPA Executive Director Tarpeh and said through his leadership the issue of the Environment has been brought to the front burner as a critical development issue.
Minister Kolubah disclosed that the presidency has also shown immense interest in issues related to the environment and attributed it to Tarpeh’s stewardship.
According to him, the Pro Poor Agency for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) has also outlined clearly the relevance of environmental issues to development.
“There is a climate change unit underway to be established at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning,” Assistant Minister Kolubah disclosed.
He thanked the Canadian Government for its support to Liberia regarding the Climate MRV process.
Assistant Internal Affairs Minister, Abu-Bakr Bah explained that the impact of environmental degradation is quite visible in Liberia and requested the EPA and partners to support capacity building for urban cities to respond to climate change impacts.
Also speaking, Deputy Agriculture Minister, George Tee Forpoh stressed the need for the country to harness expertise to build an effective MRV system for Liberia.
He promised that the Ministry of Agriculture will support Liberia’s drive to ensure that the country has an effective MRV process.
Assistant Mines and Energy, Johnson S. Willabo noted that Liberia holds a vast percentage of the upper Guinea Forest and disclosed that there are ongoing consultations and steps taken by the government to ensure that the forest is managed in a sustainable way to attract climate investments.
The three-day Evergreen Roundtable is expected to end on Friday, January 20, 2023, with participants being able to describe Liberia’s NDC target and the priority sectors for GHG mitigation actions; identified Liberia’s key challenges toward achieving the NDC and SDCs targets; understand the difference between MRV and GHG emissions, the MRV of Mitigation Actions and the MRV of Climate Finance; identified the key actors and their roles in achieving Liberia’s NOC; designed and propose activities within the Evergreen Roadmap that strengthen Liberia’s commitment and capacity to achieve the ND and related SD targets and; understand the roadmap in the development of Liberia’s MRV system and relevant MRV stakeholders.