By Bridgett Milton
A group under the banner of Climate Justice Activists has petitioned the Liberian Legislature calling for an increase of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget.
The group called for adequate support towards raising awareness and promoting Climate Justice systems that support urgent action to eradicate, reduce emissions and promote healthy climate systems across Liberia.
Reading the petition on behalf of the group, Peterline B. Mongrue, Director of Girls United for Positive Change, said Liberia faces significant risks as a result of climate change.
She said this is due to the fact that there is a high level of dependence on climate-sensitive activities such as rain-fed agriculture.
Peterline noted that this makes the country vulnerable to climate variability and change from higher temperatures to more extreme weather events such as heavy rains and rising sea levels.
She said with the recent weather pattern changes in Liberia, the impacts are felt on the population in terms of loss of livelihood, income and settlement.
“The economy is challenged due to a decline in productive capacity especially in the agriculture sector, huge infrastructure investment along the coastline, (seaports, hospitals, schools, hotels, etc) are also at a huge risk of being destroyed by sea erosion,” Mongrue noted.
She added that a classic example of threats to Liberia’s critical infrastructure is found at two of the country’s premier health facilities, citing John F. Kennedy and Redemption Hospitals which are seriously threatened by sea erosion.
She explained that involuntary migration due to coastal erosion, flooding, and drought trigger disputes over land and other resources which have security implications.
“The agriculture sector which accounts for about 70 percent of jobs and over 90 percent of total export earning is even more vulnerable to a changing climate that is leading to intensification of food insecurities and loss of revenue,” Mongrue explained further.
Meanwhile, the petitioners are also calling on the Legislature to consider the Ganta Declaration on the nationally determined contributions and an inclusive policy blueprint that promotes and regulates Climate Justice and eradicates bad systems.
The group urges the need to ensure the safety of Liberian citizens including persons living with disabilities and vulnerable groups.
The group indicated that without a policy regulation and its full implementation, there is a high likelihood that climate violence, change, and crisis will increase and affect Liberia at all costs.
Receiving the petition on behalf of the House of Representatives, the Political Officer in the office of the Speaker, George Watkins, thanked the petitioners for being very peaceful and promised them that he will make sure that their work gets to the Speaker.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/epa-demolishes-structures-on-wetlands/–Edited by Winston W. Parley