The United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA observed the 2019 Social Good Summit under the theme, “Climate Change – Emphasizing the Nature of the Problem, Linking Innovations & Promoting Technology.” The summit is being observed in other countries.The Liberia Social Good Summit was held on Thursday, September 26, with partners and residents of New Kru Town community, a community that has often been affected by sea erosion.
Making remarks at the one day summit, UNDP Resident Representative Dr. Pa-LaminBeyai says the summit is meant to unite citizens, world leaders and highlight global issues. He adds that the summit is also right because climate change affects everyone.
According to Dr. Beyai, the Liberian economy and environment are vulnerable to climate change, saying that UNDP has developed frameworks and policy to help mitigate climate change in Liberia. He says Thursday’s summit was meant to implement the policy especially, in New Kru Town that has been affected by sea erosion.He thanks collaborating partners and assures that UNDP will continue to work with the Government of Liberia to end climate change by 2030, starting with the youth.
Representing the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Arthur Becker says the summit came just in time during the week of the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations, convening in New York which theme focuses on Climate Change. He notes the Government of Liberia is very proactive in tackling climate change in New Kru Town, West Point, Buchanan and other parts of Liberia.He rallies young participants’ support in the fight against climate change in the country, saying, “You are not too young to participate in the climate reactions.”
Johnson Willabo of the Ministry of Mines and Energy says the Government of Liberia has intervened immensely with the help of other partners to combat sea erosion on residents, adding, the government had to intervene quickly when the sea attacked the D. Tweh School in New Kru Town, otherwise there was going to be no D. Tweh school by now.Mr. Willabo explains government was able to calm the sea in New Kru Town, or else, there would have been no Redemption Hospital by 2030 and all the houses before the hospital would have been swept away.
However, he says the measure put in place will last for a very long time to prevent the sea from coming on shore.
Abraham Tumbey from the UNDP observes climate change has affected students, market women, amongst others. He says the University of Liberia will shortly introduce environmental study as a course on climate change.
He also notes climate change comes with disaster, so awareness is the greatest weapon in helping to end climate change disaster.
A youth representative from Green Stewards, Olivia Livingston, speaking marine pollution says polluting the sea affects humans in so many ways. She explains human beings depend on the sea to get fish for protein and other nutrients.
Ms Livingston continues that polluting the sea leads to air contamination, and when contaminated air is inhaled, it poses problem to human health. She urges the Government of Liberia and its partners to help support the youth in the fight on climate change.
“All the previous speakers spoke of youthful participation in the fight of the climate change but none of them talked on how they are going to help us in the fight. We don’t want youthful participation by mouth; we want our views to count; we want to be part of the implementation process; we need your help”, she pleads. By Ethel A. Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne