EPA GETS BOOST

NEWS REPORTER

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has gotten a boost from an international environmental agency aimed at  helping  Liberia’s coastal line.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) on Wednesday provided US$8.9 million in new grant funding from its Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF).

According to the agreement, the project has a life span of seven years and is intended to protect vulnerable coastal communities in Sinoe County from rising seas, degraded coastal habitats and other life-threatening climate change-related risks that threaten to undermine progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The coastal areas of Liberia are being affected by sea erosion which government has been struggling to put under control.

Randall Dobayou

With  the coming in  of the support from  the GEF, it brings a sigh of relief to the Liberian government.  The project is expected to benefit about 80,000 inhabitants as we; as rehabilitate 20,000 hectares of degraded coastal habitats.

“Climate change is undermining our goals to build peace and prosperity for our people. Taken together with other actions, this innovative project protects vulnerable coastal residents from sea-level rise and supports our global vision to end hunger and poverty by 2030,” said Hon. Randall Dobayou,  Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency told journalists Wednesday after meeting with stakeholders of the project.

The project will be implemented by  the EPA and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

About 64 percent of Liberians live below the poverty line, with 1.3 million living in extreme poverty. Importantly, food insecurity affects four out of 10 people, and chronic malnutrition is high, according to UNDP reports.

According to the project, it brings together co-financing and support from a number of key stakeholders.  For instance, USAID, America’s key implementing agency, will provide US$28 million in co-financing, the World Bank, US$15 million, and Conservation International will provide US$500,000 of in-kind contributions through their on-going work in Liberia and West Africa.

In addition to that, it also builds on earlier and ongoing projects funded by the GEF and the Green Climate Fund.

The project is also expected to benefit other coastal counties around the country in sea and river defense risk management as well as support for climate adaptation livelihood opportunities.

“The project works toward transformational change by moving away from a ‘business-as-usual’ model to an integrated approach that combines nature-based interventions, hard infrastructure, gender-responsive approaches, capacity, policy, engagement with the financial services sector, knowledge and information and observational management systems,” said  Pa Lamin Beyai UNDP Resident Representative to Liberia said after the signing ceremony.

It also targets 30,000 beneficiaries who will benefit from integrated farming systems, fisheries and compressed stabilized ‘earth blocks’ and their value chains.

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