The Community Development and Research Agency (CODRA), with support from FORUMSYD Liberia has officially launched a six (6) month intensive awareness campaign on Climate Change in Gbarnga, Bong County
This campaign is intended to increase awareness of Climate Change through the promotion of Sustainable Natural Resources Management (RNM) best practices.
CODRA is a research-oriented national civil society organization which is based in central Liberia and it has established itself as a credible facilitator of processes across the central region of Liberia.
The civil society organization has worked with both national and local organizations leading research and advocacy, facilitating dialogue and joint actions.
Addressing cross-section of Liberians in Gbarnga at the launching ceremony of the Climate Change awareness campaign, Friday September 20, 2019, the Executive Director of the Community Development and Research Agency- CODRA, Honorable Lasanah A.Dukuly told the gathering that Climate Change has now become one of the biggest environmental issues that have taken a centre stage in Liberia and elsewhere.
“Many countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), is vulnerable to the impacts of climate variability and change, such as warmer temperatures, increases in annual rainfall, also increases the frequency of heavy rainfall events, Director Dukuly added”.
He revealed that these climate change impacts present challenges to the country’s socio-economic development, maintaining that agriculture supports seventy-five (75) percent of the population in Liberia and comprised sixty-one (61) percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2009, stating that changes in climate can also affect agricultural lands and production.
According to CODRA Executive Director, those different issues threaten agricultural livelihoods increase total rainfall and the number of heavy rainfall events may cause floods that erode and mandate agricultural land surfaces.
“within the natural resources management(RNM) governance triangle, there are three(3) key actors, the government, the community /civil society and the private sector, these actors are grouped into two major classifications, state actors(the government) and non-state performers( the private sector and community/ civil society from the new peacebuilding architecture, Lasanah Dukuly adds”.
The Bong County son recited that in order to facilitate a wholesome functioning society, the effective management of natural resources should consist of the engagement and interactions of all the sectors, adding that one key natural resource that should be managed well so as to reduce risks of climate change is the forest.
Mr. Lasanah A. Dukuly recounted that agencies of the Liberian government, like the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been strengthening adherence and compliance to the forest Reform Law plus the National Adaptation Plan of Liberia (NAP) in order to promote the conservation of Liberia’s vast forest which makes up 42% of the Upper Guinea Forest of West Africa.
Additionally, plastic pollution is also becoming a big environment challenge for Liberia, especially within the urban areas in the Country with Liberia been considered as one of the hotspots in the world, it contains about 42% (the largest) of the Upper Guinea Massif, including plants with high endemism, this portion of the Upper Guinea forest contains over 2000 vascular plant species, 600 bird species, 150 mammal species, and on November 8,2000, Liberia ratified the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and enshrined into its National Biodiversity Strategy plus Action Plan ll, for the period 2017-2025.
The official launching program of the six months Climate Change awareness campaign brought together government officials, local farmers, civil society actors and ordinary citizens among others.