In line with the Paris Agreement which amongst others aims at strengthening the ability of least developed countries respond to the increasing impacts and threats of climate change, the United Nations Development Program UNDP and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)convened the 2019 Social Good Summit with a focus on youthful solution to stem the tide of Climate Change in Liberia.
Since 2009, the summit has been organized across all UNDP Country Offices worldwide partnering with the United Nations Foundation highlighting global issues and initiatives that galvanize actions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.
Addressing an array of young climate foot soldiers at the opening session in New Kru Town, UNDP Resident Representative Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai called for an increased youth involvement in mitigating the effects of climate change in Liberia.
He said the summit provides another opportunity to emphasize the nature of the problem of climate change, as well as examining roles and responsibilities in the mitigation processes. “I believe we could not have chosen a better venue than New Kru Town which has seen the worst of sea erosion which is a negative byproduct of climate change”, he said.
He mentioned “we are all quite aware of the devastation of diverse climate related problems that affect the world and Liberia in particular.We are also very much aware that Liberia’s economy, population, and environment are highly vulnerable to climate variability and change, and that the impacts of climate change are expected to intensify as changes in temperature and precipitation affect economic activity”.
This,he said is the reason UNDP continues to work with its partners like the Environmental Protection Agency, Ministry of Mines and Energy and other key stakeholders in developing frameworks and policies, as well as taking concrete actions through the implementation of various activities to help mitigate the effects of climate change in Liberia.
“A classic example is the building of revetments as seen in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County and right here in New Kru Town around the D. Tweh School as a way of responding to the risks posed by sea level rise”, he said.
For his part, Arthur Becker Focal person of the Environmental Protection Agency said the summit comes at no better time than when issues at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly are focused on mitigating the impact of climate change.
He highlighted the government of Liberia efforts in mitigating the threats pose by climate change “The government of Liberia intervention is visible here in New Kru Town. The Seawalls being built by the UNDP and the government of Liberia and the efforts in Buchanan and Greenville are examples of the strides we are making”, he said.
Despite these efforts, he said the holistic support from the youth and community members to realize Liberia’s ambition towards climate actions.