Climate Change Activists Rally Government Support

By: Laymah Kollie

Liberia: A conglomeration of young Liberian climate change activists are calling on national government to tailor support in addressing climate related issues across Liberia.

With a quest to ensure a climate friendly state, the group emphasized their commitment to the process, but stressed the essentiality of government’s financial and other essential supports.

They made the call recently following the conduct of a local climate conference under the ambiance of the “Liberia Local Conference of Youth (LCOY)”. The conference was held with the cardinal objective to catalogue various means of implementing climate action as well as mobilizing resources for the various processes.

Interestingly, they believe if Liberia must achieve the Sustainable Development Goal thirteen (SDG13) by 2030, which focuses on Climate change, national government must strongly support activists financially and provide opportunities to enhance their skills locally and internationally.

“Climate activists need national government support to tackle climate issues in this country. The Environmental Protection Agency should be able to provide opportunities for young people to learn, network and coordinate. Climate change is everyone’s business so we must all fight it together if we must accomplished the SDG13 by 2030”, Ezekiel Nyanfor, a lead organizer of the conference alluded.

Ezekiel further noted that it is important to include young people as delegates for some international events climate change, especially COP26.

“Young people are mostly affected by climate disasters, it will be good enough to have certain number of delegates from the youth background especially people addressing climate problems attending the Conference of Parties every year ” he stressed.

In a remark during the opening ceremony, British Ambassador to Liberia Neil Bradley cautioned the participants to be firmed and direct in the process while holding government and businesses accountable.

He encouraged the young people to focus on the implementation of the outcome of CoP26 in Glasgow, and called on them to keep focus and be strong in implementing the world urgent climate needs. “There’s a pressing need for world urgent climate action, we really need to try the implementation of the outcomes of CoP26 in Glasgow. There’s nothing without implementation. Implementation is a challenge. We need to go forward and we need to get stronger, even thou the world is faced with many problems; our measure has to be firm and direct. A call for action by all of you here today, and I encourage you young leaders in this room to hold government and businesses accountable” Ambassador Neil Bradley said.

At the same time, the Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Randall M Dobayou pledged his support in pushing their agenda at the level of EPA and ensure that their plights are addressed.

Dobayou said the EPA is unable to provide financial support as requested but stronger collaboration is needed.

He alerted young people about current climate risks posed in Liberia; stating that if remedies are not immediately provided inorder to mitigate these threats, the country especially Monrovia will encounter high climate disasters by 2026.

“We feel guilty that EPA didn’t give direct support, you know it should not be like that. This should be an initiative to capture in our budget for young people and from today onward I can be your ambassador to advocate on your behalf. I’m going to be extremely tougher on him to get you guys to work with us, we should be able to sponsor you next time financially “. He said.

He further noted, “Climate change is affecting everything; about seven years from now if nothing is done the ocean will be reaching as far as LEC and even waterside our coastal vulnerability assessment proved. Should we sit and relax? All we need to do is call for equity, the earth is a system and it requires everyone’s effort”.

For his part, Actionaid Representative Mr Prince D Gaye reaffirmed the entity’s commitment to supporting young people and encouraged change makers to continue seeking Actionaid’s support in relevant youth initiatives.

He also thanked the United Nations Framework on the Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) for their support towards the event.

Representing the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), Samuel James Kpartor lauded the organizers for being steadfast in combating climate threats, and also pledged the organization’s commitment to supporting the youthful population of Liberia.

The Liberia Local Conference of Youth (LCOY)” was sponsored by Actionaid Liberia and the British Embassy near Monrovia.

Meanwhile, participants of the event appreciated the organizers for the innovation and termed it as a mind opening even. They promised to effectively engage into climate action in their respective localities.

The Conference of Parties (COP) is the supreme governing body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The group meets annually for two weeks to address the problems of climate change faced by the planet.

The 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) to the UNFCCC will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 6-18 November 2022.

SDG 13 under the seventeen(17) Sustainable Development Goals intends to take urgent action in order to combat climate change and its impacts. The contributing countries to the SDG are making plans to prioritize food security and production, terrestrial and wetland ecosystems, freshwater resources, human health, key economic sectors and services.

However, a 2021 World Bank Group report shows that Climate change is projected to increase temperatures and impact water availability across Liberia.

It suggests that some areas may also experience flooding due to increased intensity of rainfall, coastal erosion and sea-level rise.

“Liberia as well as the West African Region are at high risk to projected climate trends of increased temperatures, high variability of precipitation with potential for increased heavy rainfall events” the report provided.

The World Bank Group 2021 climate report also establish that In Liberia, the annual temperature increased by 0.8°C between 1960 and 2006, an average rate of 0.18°C per decade, while there has also been a significant decrease in the annual frequency of ‘cold nights’, which have decreased by 18 days per year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *