Liberia is currently Party to at least 10 multilateral environmental agreements which include: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety ; Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance ; UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change ; The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS); UN Convention to Combat Desertification/Land Degradation (UNCCD); The Basel Convention Prohibiting the Movement of Hazardous Chemicals ;The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) ; and The Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances.
The EPA has the statutory mandate to coordinate these conventions. The Environmental Protection Agency is also the designated GEF Operational Focal Point and the Designated National Authority (DNA) for Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol in Liberia. As GEF Operational Focal Point, the EPA is primarily responsible for in-country coordination of GEF projects and other operational activities. GEF funded projects contribute very significantly to the capacity building needs for the country, to enable Liberia meet its obligations under the MEAs.
What follows herein is summary of the dates of accession/ratification of conventions and protocol and updates of the various enabling currently been taken by conventions and protocols:
Liberia is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol by ratifying in 2002. In 2015, Liberia signed The Doha Amendment. Subsequently, the country also signed The Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2016.
Second National Communication (SNC)
The Environment Protection Agency is currently preparing Liberia’s Second National Communication (SNC) as required by Article 12 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The SNC is a Climate Change reporting requirement by all Parties to the UNFCCC. The SNC will provide a national plan of action in addressing Climate Change at the national level.
The Main components of the SNC will include:
a) Description of National Circumstances;
b) The National inventory of the greenhouse gases for the year 2003-2012 utilizing the 2006 IPCC guidelines and 2000 Good Practice Guidance;
c) Integrated vulnerability and adaptation assessment of the impacts of climate change and adaptation measures for certain development and environment sectors utilizing updates/ detailed country specific climate scenarios;
d) Support to the elaboration of a comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Strategy;
e) Socialization of climate change mitigation and adaptation issues;
National Climate Change Policy
The Environment Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) is formulating the development of a National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Plan. The EPA and UNECA signed a Letter of Agreement under the project entitled “African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC)”.
UNECA’s support will also include:
Providing technical and logistical support for climate change policy research and analysis;
a) Supporting capacity development for decision- makers and various stakeholders;
b) Promoting National Climate Change Networks at all levels, climate institutions or Community of Practice;
c) Supporting national media campaign on Climate Change and Development ; and
d) Providing assistance for analytical research in identified development sectors.
The Draft Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Plan has been developed. It is presently going through a peer review process before a national validation workshop. Upon the validation of the document, it will be submitted to The Cabinet for endorsement.
Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)
Liberia submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) ahead of The UN Climate Change Conference, 2015. Liberia’s INDCs set national goal in addressing climate change at the national level. Ambitious mitigation and adaptation activities were identified in assisting the with building the resilience of the country against climate change.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa provided financial and technical support during the development of Liberia’s INDCs. Additional support also came from the United States Government and World Resources Institute (WRI).
Global Environment Facility (GEF) Replenishment Period 6
GEF allocated US$3.0 Million United States Dollar for climate change activities in Liberia under the current GEF 6 Replenishment Period. Through relevant stakeholder consultations, the allocation was awarded to Liberia Energy Access Project through the African Development Bank (AFDB). The Bank is currently developing a project that will deal with institutional strengthening of relevant actors in the energy sector.
Green Climate Fund (GCF) support
The Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) is the national designated authority (NDA) for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) serves as the national implementing entity (NIE). Under the GCF Readiness Support Programme, the EPA through UNDP is a beneficiary of the Programme in the amount of US$3,000,000.00. The Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme will also address the preparation of Liberia’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP).
European Union Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+)
The European Union approved EU 6,000,000.00 as grant to address climate change in Liberia under the auspices of the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+) The Grant intends to address the following areas:
“Mitigation – Waste” – EUR 4.6 Million
“Capacity Building” – EUR 1 Million
“Liberia Climate Change Alliance + Community and Outreach” – EUR 300,000.00
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition:
Liberia became partner to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) in 2014 with the goal of taking national action to reduce short lived climate pollutants from diesel fuel methane, tropospheric ozone and other fine particulate matters that have impacts on health, agriculture and our climate.
EPA received a small grant to carry out an institutional strengthening under the Strengthening National Action for Planning (SLCPs). The objective for that is to increase the level of national action taken to mitigate emissions from SLCPs; to increase national awareness on the impacts of SLCP and increase national participation in CCAC activities globally. The following have been achieved:
- National SLCP Coordination Unit established at the EPA;
- Steering Committee established;
- Advisory Board established;
- SLCP mitigation Communication strategy developed
- Resources mobilization strategy development underway
- Raised national awareness through workshops, meetings and the media
- Global diesel fuel economy initiative launched
The SNAP Project:
The Environmental Protection Agency received a small grant of 59, 000.00 from the United Nations Environment Program to implement the Institutional Strengthening program to address short lived climate pollutants for the period of 2 years since August 2015.
The objectives of the project are to
a. Increase the level of national action taken to mitigate emissions from SLCPs;
b. Increase national awareness on the impacts of SLCP and
c. Increase national participation in CCAC activities globally.
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): Date of ratification: November 8, 2000
CURRENT PROJECTS: Revised NBSAP Project revision and updating completed. The new NBSAP consistent with COP 10 mandate for parties to revise their NBSAPs in readiness to implement the 2011-2020 AICHI Biodiversity targets.
The Economic of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB): This project focuses the valuation of ecosystem focusing mainly on the mangrove. The project is at the second which is the biophysical study. Phase one of the project focused on scoping of the mangrove forest spread in six counties from Cape Mount to Sinoe. The second phase of the project biophysical study-will be followed by the economic valuation and analysis of the various scenarios.
Biosafety- Liberia ratified the Cartagena Protocol of Biosafety- Date of Ratification: February 16, 2000.
Current project- National Biosafety Framework Implementation project. This project was designed to build Liberia’s enabling capacity in handling the importation of GMOs and LMOs into Liberia. Currently, the Project Team is preparing the terminal phase out report of the project. As a result of the project, Liberia very strong capacity to handling issues associated with biosafety. Example, the country can boast of GMOs/LMOs detection laboratory, risk management regulations and manual, communication strategy, biosafety policy and draft law.
Access and Benefit sharing (ABS) Protocol- Liberia became party to the protocol which is one of the main outcomes of the Nagoya, Japan COP 10 of the CBD, on August 15, 2015. Current project, public awareness, education and information dissemination enabling activity project. This project was designed to build the capacity of key stakeholders (policy-makers, civil society, media and traditional leaders). The activities of the project have been completed and final project report is been prepared.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) - Liberia became party to this third leg of the Rio Convention in 1994. The major achievement of Liberia under this convention the implementation of Sustainable Land Management project which ended in 2013 with the development of National Action Plan on sustainable land management (NAP). The current project is the alignment of Liberia’s NAP to the convention’s 10 year strategy plan of the convention.
Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS): This protocol is an off-spring of the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer adopted in 1985 and entered into force September 22 in 1988. The Montreal Protocol was signed in September 16, 1987 to address the damaging effects of ultra-violet radiation on the stratospheric ozone layer, which protects animals and plant life on earth. The protocol is a land-mark treaty which identified zone depleting chemicals and established timetable for their eventual phase out. Under the protocol, the production and consumption of Ozone depleting chemicals are to be reduced and eliminated through the development of chemical substitute and alternative manufacturing process.
CURRENT PROJECTS AND SUCCESSES:
Hydrochlorofluorocarbon Phase out Management Plan (HPMP). This project is intended to phase out the second group of ozone depleting substances known as Hydrochlofluocarbons used in the refrigeration and manufacturing industries. Liberia is on course to achieve this phase-out. Amongst successes thus far also include:
- The Development and completion of a National ozone policy and ozone registry;
- Successfully training over 400 refrigeration technician etc.
Ozone Depleting Substances Alternative Survey-this project is one of the current projects intended to:
To better understand the consumption trend for non-ODS alternatives, and their distribution by sector and sub-sector;
To establish inventories on ODS alternatives that will provide Liberia with an overview of the national market where ODS alternatives have been and will be phase in;
To estimate the amount of each ODS alternative currently used in the country, identify alternative that could be potentially used in the future to replace ozone depleting substances.