Twenty-five employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia over the weekend completed an intensive training workshop in Climate Change Data Collection. The workshop was supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
Participants of the two-day training held at a local hotel in Monrovia were taught how to collect and analyze climate change data. The participants were also taught basic concepts of climate change, impacts of climate change on major sectors of Liberia, including agriculture, health, fishery, forestry, and Liberia’s national response to climate change.
Other topics taught at the training workshop included ‘Sources of Climate Change Data and National Databases and Data Collection, Verification, Compilation and Reporting Methods.’
The EPA Executive Director Madam Anyaa Vohiri said the participants will shortly be dispatched throughout the country to collect data on climate change and its impacts on critical sectors of the country.
She said currently there are limited data on climate change in Liberia. The EPA boss stressed that a complete and comprehensive data on climate change will inform the government to make critical decisions on sectors such as agriculture, health, fishery, forestry and other areas.
Madam Vohiri said the upcoming climate change data collection exercise to be undertaking by the environmental watchdog will provide information on sunshine, rainfall and atmospheric temperature, humidity in Liberia.
The EPA Director made the assertions during the opening ceremony of the two-day training workshop at a hotel in Monrovia.
However, she said, despite threats posed by climate change and other adverse conditions in the environment, the government at sometimes make decisions that impact the environment without the input of the EPA.
Madam Vohiri underscored the need for the government to integrate environmental concerns, concepts and applications in national development programs and plans.
For his part, the National Focal Person on Climate Change at the EPA, Mr. Benjamin Karmorh, said the issue of capacity building is paramount in addressing climate change as a least developed nation.
He added that collection of climate change data is important for adaptation or mitigation purposes.
Although the training was organized for employees of the environmental watchdog, two executives of the Liberia Environment Climate Change Media Network (LECCMN) Peter A. Fahn, Secretary General and Joseph Sanyon, Vice Coordinator of the network were in attendance. The media network on the environment was early this year organized by the EPA in collaboration with environmental reporters with the aim to raise awareness on environment and climate change issues in the country.
The training workshop which has been praised by the participants as resourceful and worthwhile was facilitated by Mr. E. Abraham T. Tumbey of Green Consultancy Inc. Mr. Zinnah Mulbah of the EPA and Mr. Urias Goll from the National Oil Company of Liberia.
Meanwhile, the Focal Person on Climate Change at the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Benjamin Karmorh says data collection is paramount in producing Liberia’s National Policy on climate change.
He said as a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Liberia is required to produce a national climate change policy, adding that the EPA will strive to ensure that such document contain the aspirations and expectations of the people of Liberia. Writes Peter A. Fahn