Although endowed with bountiful and diverse natural resources, Liberia has become susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change. Contributing factors include shifting cultivation, unsustainable logging practices, unregulated coastal mining, high levels of biomass consumption(charcoal and fire wood) and decreasing river flows due to high evaporation.
At the project level, several highest priority initiatives aimed at reducing the vulnerability of local communities to increasing climatic variability were identified through a participatory process, including: Integrated cropping/livestock farming with the objective of diversifying crop farming through the cultivation of soybeans, lowland rice and small ruminants rearing; Improved Monitoring of Climate Change with the objective of generating reliable hydrometeorlogical data and improving the measurement of climatic parameters
The population of Liberia is about 2.9 million (Ministry of Planning, 2003), with an annual growth rate of almost 5 percent – one of the highest in the world. Population density throughout most of the country is less than 30 people per square kilometre, except in certain location by the coast and in the north where population density per square kilometre is considerably higher – over 340 people per square kilometre. Liberia is situated on the Atlantic Coast of West Africa along the wide South-West Curve North of the Gulf of Guinea Coast (see figure to the right). Lying within Longitude 7o 18’ –11o 30’ West and Latitude 4o 20’- 8o 30’ North, Liberia covers an area of 38,000 square miles (just over 102 thousand square kilometres).
Much of the effects of increasing climatic variability and climatic change threaten key economic sectors in Liberia, namely agriculture, fisheries, forestry, energy, health, meteorology/hydrology.
This country briefing on the process to formulate and implement National Adaptation Plans in Liberia considers firstly the country context and the climate change risks. The groundwork for supporting the NAP is considered, covering the policy, planning and budgetary framework, priority adaptation sectors in the country's INDC, climate assessments, the implementation of adaptation actions and plans thus far. The briefing contains a timeline of the process to formulate and implement NAPs in Liberia. Challenges, successes and opportunities are also discussed.
The GCF-funded project "To advance the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) process for medium-term investment planning in climate-sensitive sectors (i.e. agriculture, energy, waste management, forestry and health) and coastal areas in Liberia" will work to strengthen institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process, expand the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation, build capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems, and formulate financing mechanisms for scaling-up adaptation, including public, private, national and international.
National partners will include the Environment Planning Authority and the National Climate Change Secretariat. Other key partners are the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Ministry of Agriculture, National Disaster Management Commission, National Port Authority of Liberia, Liberia Maritime Authority, Bureau of National Fisheries, Liberia National Department of Meteorology, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services and University of Liberia.
Liberia, like other developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs), is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. While Liberia has a low carbon footprint, the impact and effects of climate change may have severe consequences in multiple sectors and areas. Changes in temperature and precipitation may affect several sectors and areas across Liberia, including agriculture, fisheries, forests, energy production related to the availability of water resources, coastal areas and health.
At the sectoral level, 70% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods, while rural areas are as much as 80% vulnerable to food insecurity, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In the 350 miles of coastal areas, these are exposed to the combined effects of ongoing coastal erosion, climate change induced sea level rise, change in the frequency and intensity of storms, and increases in precipitation and warmer ocean temperatures. For health, climate change may lead to increased vulnerability to malaria, cholera and diarrheal diseases, as well as increased incidence of other diseases. Finally, climate change may negatively impact hydroelectric generation from the Mount Coffee hydropower plant.
Liberia began its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process in 2015 with the development of a Road Map in consultation with the main stakeholders in the country. This road map was based on an evaluation of the existing climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives, an assessment of the knowledge, capacity and implementation gaps, as well as an assessment of the capacity development needs. The road map provides a guideline for implementation of the NAP process in Liberia, and the areas to work in the short, medium and long term.
Output 1: Strengthening of Institutional Frameworks and coordination for the NAPs process
1.1. Development of a climate change strategy and action plan for adaptation, in support of the on-going development of the Climate Change Policy
Prior to the NAP, the GoL has implemented a number of climate change related initiatives; including the NAPA in 2008, Initial National Communication in 2012, National Climate Change Policy and REDD+ in 2012. The lack of institutional and technical capacity on climate change adaptation in Liberia prevents the GoL and the stakeholders to integrate fully ACC into planning and budgeting processes, and to implement successfully adaptation strategies.
1.2. Development of sector-based climate change strategies and actions plans in agriculture and coastal management
The coastal development and management and agriculture have been identified as priority sectors for NAP in Liberia. The present project will focus primarily on these sectors. In order to integrate the CCA in sectoral policy, it is important to evaluate all current adaptation options and integrate adaptation into all sectoral policies. Updated and relevant climate vulnerability and risk assessment, studies on the economic impacts of climate change as it relates to the key sectors and most important resources give decisions makers and the most vulnerable population adequate tools/information to integrate climate change into their planning strategies. Also, it enables them to better plan their medium and long-term adaptation programs/policies/strategies.
Output 2: Expansion of the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation
At the moment, there is limited scientific data (resources, socio-economic indicators, meteorological, etc.) and information on climate impacts in Liberia, with limited knowledge of current climate variability, climate risks and no early warning system data. There is a need to develop and disseminate socio-economic scenarios to project the future impacts of climate change in Liberia and develop vulnerability studies at the sector and national level. Related to climate services, there is limited capacity to monitor, forecast, archive, analyse and communicate hydro-meteorological and climate change information. The modelling capacity, infrastructures and human capacity of the meteorological department and other climate services need to be reinforced in order to identify climate change hazards and to explore/ evaluate suitable adaptation options in the vulnerable sectors.
2.1. Effective Climate data and related information knowledge sharing platform created
Actual and past climate data collection and analysis are essential to the NAP process. Furthermore, with climate change cutting across multiple sectors, it’s necessary for Liberia to implement a platform to make accessible climate data and related information across all sectors, and to engage all stakeholders in the process (producers and beneficiaries). Related to climate services, there is limited capacity to monitor, forecast, archive, analyze and communicate hydro-meteorological and climate change information.
2.2. Natural disasters risk management and reduction strategies developed
Climate related hazards (floods, windstorms, fire, and sea erosion) are likely to worsen with climate change in Liberia. This in turn will have significant impact on local communities livelihood, the key sectors and overall national economic performances. One possible entry point for NAP is the integration of natural disasters risk management and reduction strategies for in Liberia public financing.
Output 3: Development of guidelines and criteria for mainstreaming climate change adaptation in Government budgeting and planning, climate-proofing projects, and reporting
3.1. Development of technical guidelines for the personnel of Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP) and other relevant Ministries to include climate change into budgeting and planning.
The NAP process as a transversal process integrates multiple sectors. Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into policy and budgeting processing (at the sectoral, national and subnational) implies identifying and evaluating all current and on-going CCA options and developing guidelines for the personnel of key Ministries to include climate change into all planning and budgeting processes.
3.2. Capacity building for the private sector, financial intermediaries and other stakeholders in the implementation of adaptation activities.
In addition to strong institutions and coordination mechanisms, adequate level of technical knowledge on climate change and ACC of staff of sectoral ministries, private sector, financial intermediaries and other stakeholders are needed to implement and prioritize adaptation options.
3.3. Development of tools (screening tools, scorecards) for climate proofing of investments in infrastructure and other areas that may be sensitive to the impacts of climate change, to be able to withstand those impacts.
Climate-proofing a project is to reduce the climate change potential impact on the project activities. The final goal is to increase resilience to climate change, protect investments and increase the project sustainability. Generally, it involves assessing the risks posed by climate change and modifying the project design to reduce those risks. In order to climate proof investments in infrastructure and other areas that may be sensitive to the impacts of climate change, it is important to develop and apply tools (such as, the Climate Proofing for Development, designed by GIZ) enabling the inclusion climate aspect into planning and designing of project at national, sectoral, and local levels.
3.4. Implement reporting system to track investments and other climate related finance in adaptation.
The NAP process being an ongoing process with iterative steps, it is essential to periodically monitor and evaluate the progress made. The guidelines of the LEG on the NAP insist on the importance of the M&E process (Axis D). Moreover, M&E is useful for reporting to the international and bilateral donors and as well as to the UNFCCC.
Output 4: Formulation of financial mechanisms for scaling up adaptation In Liberia, like many other developing countries, a significant handicap is the non-appropriation of processes at all levels and the lack of local funds to sustain previous investments.
4.1. Designing of procedures to scale up adaptation investments and address financial gaps.
The GCF resources will allow the GoL to identify and provide adequate alternative funding to support adaptations strategies implementation. Additionally, inclusion of climate change into the planning and national budget process at an early stage will secure co-financing of internationally funded projects by the GoL.
4.2. Fostering Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to support adaptation investments
Public private partnerships (PPP) in identifying and managing climate variability and to manage climate change, is essential planning climate change adaptation actions. The private sector companies, for their own economic interest, collect and analyse climate data. To be cost effective, it is necessary to learn and capitalize the private sector’s experience in identifying climate variability and managing climate change. The importance of the private sector in supporting Liberia’s CCA actions is well established in its Initial National Communication (2013) and INDC (2015). With Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), the private sector (petroleum and industrial companies) is a major producer of GHGs in Liberia (the energy and agricultural sector GHGs production amount to 67.5% and 31.9% of the national total, respectively). The role of the private sector in CCA in Liberia can be summarized in the following: (i) identification and implementation of strategies to reduce GHGs emissions, (ii) provision and sales of climate-sensible technologies and services, and (iii) funding of CCA projects.
Need for Collective Partnership to Avoid Natural Hazards Stressed
Monday 5 November 2018
“Liberia is exposed to natural hazards and climate-related risks including floods, windstorms, wildfire, and coastal erosion and, therefore, there is a need for collective partnership and coordination among state and non-state agencies in executing the assessment findings,” EPA Executive Director, Nathaniel T. Blama, said over the weekend. The threats being faced are likely to worsen with climate change, which will have a significant impact on local communities’ livelihoods, he said. In an effort to curtail such natural threats, the National Disaster Management Agency, in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), on October 26, 2018, launched the National Disaster Risks Assessment in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, through the hosting of an inception workshop under the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) project that is funded by the Green Climate Fund.
Liberia Faces Natural Hazards Threat, EPA, UNDP Warn
Front Page Africa
Tuesday 30 October 2018
Liberia is exposed to natural hazards and climate related risks including floods, windstorms, wildfire and coastal erosion. There is a need for collective partnership and coordination amongst state and non-state agencies in executing the assessment findings”, EPA Executive Director, Nathaniel T. Blama said. The threats being faced are likely to worsen with climate change, which will have significant impact on local communities’ livelihoods. In an effort to curtail natural threats being experienced, the National Disaster Management Agency in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) over the weekend, October 26, 2018 launched the National Disaster Risks Assessment in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County through the hosting of an inception workshop under the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) project that is funded by the Green Climate Fund.
University of Liberia to Commence Environmental Studies Soon
Wednesday 17 October 2018
In preparation for the commencement of University of Liberia (UL)’s graduate program in environmental studies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) concluded a four-day technical workshop to develop a curriculum for Master’s in Environmental Studies for the tertiary institution. The technical training which ran from 18-21 October 2018 in Gbarnga, Bong County attracted 30 participants including UL President and Vice President of Graduate studies, heads of curriculum development and various departments at UL, as well as representatives of the EPA and partners of regional programs were tasked on developing a draft curriculum, reviewing and producing a final draft, which is expected to be submitted for further review and validation by relevant authorities of UL.
Liberia: 51 Vulnerable Youth and Women Trained in Production of Energy Efficient Cook Stoves
Tuesday 16 October 2018
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a 3-day technical training session to train 51 local inhabitants from seven counties, in the production of energy efficient cook stoves. This initiative is supported by the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) project implemented by the EPA with support from United Nations Development Programme and funded by the Green Climate Fund. The participants (27 females and 24 males), are unemployed vulnerable youth and women without skills, that were selected from communities in Bong, Margibi, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Lofa and Grand Bassa Counties by the EPA. During the exercise which took place in the City of Gbarnga, Bong County, the Deputy Executive Director of the EPA, Randall Dobayou emphasized that the right to a conducive environment is a human right that the EPA and its partners are committed to supporting. He noted that the training, besides boosting efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission and air pollution, will reduce the health risks associated with the use of traditional cook stoves, reduce the time spent by women in cooking and enable them time for additional activities.
Integrating gender in the mitigation of climate change
Monday 17 September 2018
The Focal Point of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for Liberia at the EPA says the issue of climate change continues to be one of the major threats to development. Benjamin Karmoh, said the situation is posing danger to every sector including health, agriculture, education, water and sanitation, energy, and other sectors of the country thereby requiring the collective effort of everyone in addressing the issues of climate change. Karmoh speaking during a two-day inception training on the integration of gender perspective, through the use of sex disaggregated data and gender analysis tools in programme formulation and monitoring. The training targeted staff from line ministries, agencies, and corporations with specific functions in planning, monitoring and evaluation and was held in the port City of Buchannan. The event was organized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under its National Adaptation Plan Project) with funding from the Green Climate Fund.
EPA, UNDP Hold SDGs Training in Nimba
7 September 2018
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is expected to commence a two day training workshop on Friday, September 7, in Ganta, Nimba County for capacity-building and operation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Liberia. The training, which is being funded by the Green Climate Fund of the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), is held under UNDP’s NAPs Project, which supports government to advance its NAP process in climate sensitive sectors. According to a release from EPA’s Media Section, the UNDP’s NAPs project focuses on strengthening institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process, expanding the knowledge based for scaling up adaptation, building capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems. The two day training, according the EPA, will focus on the SDGs that relate to environment, natural resource management, energy, gender and climate change. The training seeks to educate and inform stakeholders on the SDGs related to environment, natural resource management, energy and gender and raise awareness on the link between the NAPS, and SDGs and the importance of Climate Change Adaptation processes for the achievement of SDGs. It also intends to improve understanding on SDGs and climate change adaptation challenges at local and national levels and as well build synergies within environmental actors for their successful implementation of their respective programs and initiatives for climate change adaptation in Liberia. The Project supports the government to advance its NAP process in climate sensitive sectors. It also focuses on strengthening institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process, expanding the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation, building capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems, and formulating financing mechanisms for scaling-up adaptation, including public, private, national and international.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) has launched the National Policy & Response Strategy on Climate Change. Declaring the official launch of the policy on behalf of the Liberian Government, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah said the climate change policy and response strategy represent a significant milestone in Liberia’s effort to combat the hazard of climate change. Minister Tweah added that the document demonstrates the country’s commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement which Liberia’s ratified a fortnight ago. According to the Finance Minister, climate change has the potential to reverse the gains of the past decades and is partly responsible for Liberia’s failure to achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA and the University of Liberia have signed an agreement for support toward the setting up of a graduate program in environmental science at the University of Liberia. The agreement was signed during the launch of the National Policy & Response Strategy on Climate Change. The programme is being funded by the Green Climate Fund through UNDP's National Adaptation Plans project. The Programme is designed to prepare students to address the social and biophysical complexities of environmental problems. Along with the required core courses, the program will draw upon the strengths of current curriculum and resources to develop a unique course. This course combines the features of interdisciplinary, environmental literacy, integration of qualitative and quantitative skills, problem solving in the context of climate change resilience and adaptability. UNDP Liberia Country Director Pa Lamin Beyai signed on behalf of his Agency, while the President of the University of Liberia, Ophelia Weeks and EPA's Executive Director Nathaniel Blama, signed on behalf of their respective institutions.
The National Legislature of Liberia ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change this June with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Liberian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), bringing the country one step closer to reaching its goals for low-carbon, climate-resilient development. “After reviewing and critically analyzing the Paris Agreement, Liberia stands to benefit from the financial and technological support in maintaining low-carbon climate-resilient development through effective adaptation to climate change and greenhouse-gas emission reduction,” the committee headed by Maryland County Senator H. Dan Morais said. Despite having contributed little to climate change, Liberia, like many other developing countries, is especially vulnerable to its impacts. Sea-level rise, soaring temperatures and increased rainfall threaten economic and social gains. The agricultural sector, which ensures the livelihoods of around 70 percent of the population, is especially vulnerable, with flooding, erosion and changing rainfall patterns putting lives at risk in a country where nearly eight out of ten people do not have secure access to food.
UNDP Equips EPA Monitoring System
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) yesterday donated 25 motorbikes and basic accessories to authorities of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for environmental monitoring and data collection initiatives across the country. UNDP Country Director, Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai, made the donation in Monrovia, which was received by EPA Executive Director, Nathaniel T. Blama. Dr. Beyai said that the donation is necessary because there are numerous current environment and climate change challenges in the country, including deforestation, coastal erosion, pollution of rivers and coastal waters, raw sewage, change in temperature and rainfall patterns that demand partners to adequately equip the EPA to face these challenges. “This donation is intended to boost EPA’s capacity to monitor and collect data for environmental compliance, while at the same time supporting adaptation planning,” Beyai said. He spoke of the agency’s limited capacity to monitor, coordinate and supervise the sustainable management of the environment that was recognized in 2015 during a stock-taking exercise UNDP conducted at the formulation process of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP). The NAP’s project, which is supporting the country to advance its preparation for medium-term investment planning in climate sensitive sectors, presents a unique opportunity for UNDP and EPA to work together to build resilience across the sectors.
National Disaster Management Agency, UNDP-Liberia Conduct Training on National Disaster Readiness
Front Page Africa
Thursday 7 June 2018
The training was funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). According to E. Abraham T. Tumbey, NAP’s project manager, the training session focused on strengthening national disaster response and helped citizens understand the steps to be adopted to respond to various disaster situations. Tumbey added that the training increased participants’ knowledge disaster preparedness by increasing each agencies’ understanding of participants’ roles and responsibilities before and during a disaster. Tumbey said planning, coordination and high state of preparedness were the necessary steps to handle crisis successfully. The NAP project manager said the training was also meant to create awareness among participants about the firefighting techniques and the ways to respond swiftly in times of such emergency situation.
Government, Partners Launch National Adaptation Plan of Liberia
Front Page Africa
Friday 16 March 2018
The National Adaptation Plan (NPA) is funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) created to support the effort of developing countries to response to the challenge of climate change in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. The project was launched at the National Adaption Plans Inception workshop implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the National Climate Change Secretariat March 12 at a local hotel in Monrovia. Outlining the NAP’s priorities at the launch, the EPA’s new Executive Director, Nathaniel T. Blama, Sr. noted that Liberia is the first country that have started the implementation of NAP; even though the country received approval alongside the Republic of Nepal. “The strategic priorities of the NAP are to mainstream climate change adaptation into development policies, plans and strategies; build long-term capacities of institutional structures involved in NAP; implement effective and sustainable funding mechanisms, advance research and development in climate change adaptation, and improve knowledge management” he said.
Environment chief: Why we’re prioritizing climate governance in Liberia
UNDP connects with the Executive Director of Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency to explore new steps towards climate resilient development
8 March 2018
Climate change poses significant risks to Liberia in reaching its goals for sustainable development and climate action. Strong governance will be a key in building the enabling and transformative institutions necessary to protect the people of Liberia from sea level rise and other climate impacts, propel development gains to reduce hunger and poverty so that no one is left behind, and protect peaceful climate-resilient economic and social development. Madam Anyaa Vohiri is a climate hero from Liberia. Her work as the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency provides unique insights into how least developed countries can plan for climate change and build for the future.
Liberia receives first instalment of US$2.2 million GCF grant for climate adaptation
10 July, 2015, Green Climate Fund
The Government of Liberia has recently received US$805,000 as part of a US$2.2 million Green Climate Fund grant to support its national climate adaptation planning process. The release of funds to the West African country represents GCF’s first transfer of adaptation resources to a least developed country (LDC). Supported through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the GCF-funded project "to advance the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) process for medium-term investment planning in climate-sensitive sectors (i.e. agriculture, energy, waste management, forestry and health) and coastal areas in Liberia" will work to strengthen institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process, expand the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation, build capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems, and formulate financing mechanisms for scaling-up adaptation, including public, private, national and international.
GCF approves first grants for National Adaptation Planning in Liberia and Nepal
15 November 2016, Green Climate Fund
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) today announced the approval of its first grants in support of processes to develop National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). Under the GCF's Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme, Liberia will receive USD 2.2 million with UNDP acting as its delivery partner to implement its NAPs activities, whilst Nepal will receive a grant of USD 2.9 million via UNEP.
To advance the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) process for medium-term investment planning in climate-sensitive sectors (i.e. agriculture, energy, waste management, forestry and health) and coastal areas in Liberia
Output 1 - Strengthen institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process
Output 2 - Expand the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation
Output 3 - Build capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems
Output 4 - Formulate financing mechanisms for scaling-up adaptation, including public, private, national and international.
Enhancing Resilience Of Liberia Montserrado County Vulnerable Coastal Areas To Climate Change Risks II
The United Nations Development Programme is working with the Government of Liberia to ensure investment of a new tranche of US$4 million from the Least Developed Countries Fund is used to reduce the vulnerability of physical assets and natural systems, protect coastal areas, and mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. The "Enhancing Resilience Of Liberia Montserrado County Vulnerable Coastal Areas To Climate Change Risks II" project will work to build national capacity and drive policy coordination in the coastal county of Montserrado to plan and respond to climate change. The project will benefit from a proposed US$2.2 million Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund grant and US$2.1 million in co-financing.
The project will contribute to global environmental benefits and improve the livelihoods of the citizens of Liberia with the improved management of 300 million hectares of seascapes, placing 120 million hectares under sustainable land management practices. It will promote the collective management of transboundary water systems, and implement a full range of policy, legal and institutional reforms and investments to contribute to the sustainable use of ecosystem services.
Large environmental benefits are also planned. Most notably, 750 million tons of Carbon Dioxide will be mitigated and 1000 tons of mercury will be reduced.
The Liberia coastline is subject to see level rise. Indeed, by the year 2090, the SRESB1 predicts a rise of sea level between 0.13m and 0.43m, whereas SRESA1 predicts a rise of between 0.18m and 0.56m , relative to 1980 - 1999 mean , (INC, 2013). This forecasted sea level rise, combined with increased intensity of storms and potential storm surges is very likely to accelerate the present catastrophic situation of coastal erosion. The orientation of Liberia’s coastline and its location on the Gulf of Guinea coastline, make it particularly exposed to the southern Atlantic annual sea storm surges. These surges lead to average tidal rises of over 2m during a brief period in spring – a major driver of coastal erosion. According to the NAPA (2008), the areas along the coast where erosion is most severe are Montserrado County coastlines, (West Point and New Kru Town and River Cess), Buchanan and Cestos Cities.
In the Montserrado County, sea-level rise would lead to shoreline retreat. The intensity of the retreat would vary along the coast from between 10 meters/year in the higher cliffed zone (e.g. between Mamba Point and Sinkor) to about 20 meters/year in the lowlands on Bush Rod Island. A considerable population is currently residing and working in these threatened zones, particularly around West Point. Another important expected impact of sea level rise is direct inundation of low-lying wetlands and dry land areas. For example, over the last 40 years, Liberia has experienced a number of climate-induced and sea-induced disasters. Communities such as New Kru Town and Hotel Africa in Montserrado are regularly under water. According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), it is projected that a one meter sea level rise (scenario B2) would lead to permanent inundation of about 95 km2 of land in the coastal zone of Liberia. With a one-meter sea level rise, densely populated parts of t he capital city of Monrovia and its environs – including West Point, Hotel Africa, Kru Town and River Cess would be submerged. These are currently the housing areas for tens of thousands of people. A conservative estimate suggests about 250 million United States Dollars worth of land and infrastructures (such as the Hotel Africa complex) would be lost . The anticipated socio-economic impacts of the nexus of sea-level rise, coastal erosion and regular coastal flooding are largely negative and potentially disastrous for coastal communities. These factors are likely to have most impacts in the most densely populated areas such as the coastal areas of the County of Montserrado with large numbers of poor people. They are likely to destroy property, destroy rural infrastructure (markets, roads, centres, clinics), to destroy land, to destroy livelihood equipment (boats, mobile market stands, stoves, etc). Quite simply, the poor people have nowhere to go and no way to protect their personal and community belongings. Montserrado coastal communities are already observing and feeling the impacts of the sea-level rise, coastal erosion and coastal flooding nexus.
Output 1 – Capacity of the climate change secretariat enhanced to drive policy coordination in the coastal county of Montserrado to plan and respond to climate change.
• 1.1. Raised awareness of senior county officials, decision-makers and stakeholders.
• 1.2 Capacity of the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) is strengthened
• 1.3 A county coastal protection unit is established, staffed and equipped
• 1.4 Semi-skilled workers able to prepare, build and maintain gabions and revetments etc.
• 1.5 A system for monitoring the maintenance of coastal protection measures is established,
• 1.6 County Development Agenda that fully addresses climate change prepared and approved.
Outcome 2 – At the sites of Hotel Africa and Kru Town, sustainable and affordable measures to protect coastal areas against climate change impacts are demonstrated.
• 2.3 Hotel Africa and New Kru Town communities protected from climate change impacts.
If the Liberian government succeeds in ensuring that the coastal defense project to save D-Tweh High School in New Kru Town is properly completed, the school stands another 50-year guarantee, according to engineers. Over the weekend, President George Manneh Weah formally launched the commencement of the project which could see the school withstands the eroding pressure from the Atlantic Ocean. Speaking during the official launch of the coastal defense project Friday, July 13, in the Borough of New Kru Town, the President said the project was just one of the many projects to come. He promised that his government will remain focus despite criticisms: “As a government, our responsibility is to perform, give to you what you need and not to give you those things that you do not need. “I was always there with you when I was not a President. Now that I am your President, I will always be there with you and for you. I hope and pray that this project will not be sabotaged because it will be supported,” the Liberian Leader stated.He pledged his government’s commitment to working with its international partners, especially the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in helping the people of New Kru Town to prevent the sea erosion.
Local Project Appraisal Committee members attending a one-day appraisal meeting yesterday at a resort in Monrovia agreed that the US$2 million provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) must be directed to the ongoing New Kru Town coastal defense project. Among other things, the project aims to ensure that the D. Twe Memorial High School and the Redemption Hospital are not swept away by erosion. The participants were drawn from the Ministry of Lands & Mines and Energy (MLME), the Ministry of Public Works, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), civil society members, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP). The local Project Appraisal Committee members, before the unanimous decision, examined a summary project document presented by the EPA and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The meeting was held under the theme: “Enhancing Resilience of Montserrado County Vulnerable Coastal Areas to Climate Change Risks.”
Outcome 1 – Vulnerability of physical assets and natural systems reduced.
Outcome 2 – At the sites of Hotel Africa and Kru Town, sustainable and affordable measures to protect coastal areas against climate change impacts are demonstrated.