Regional Planning Graduate Class at the University of Liberia Graduate School has ended a one-day seminar on the theme “The Link Between the Environment and Development,” with experts expressing fear of Liberia vulnerability to climate change.
Reducing Climate change is one of goals of the SDGs to be met by 2030, which according to experts, requires immediate attention. Liberia ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2002 following its establishment in 1992. The objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is to stabilize greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level the world can prevent global catastrophe.
Mr. Benjamin S. Karmorh, National Focal Person, UN Framework Convention on Climate at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), made presentation on “The Impact of Climate Change on Socio-Economic Development- The case of Liberia.”
Mr. Karmorh called on Liberia to carve strategies to deal with the ever-increasing problem of climate change. “If mechanisms are not put in place to tackle climate change, it will lead to the disruption of Liberia’s agriculture system, leading to low crop yield, malnutrition and low income generation,” he said.
Mr. Karmorh noted that the coastal resources are most likely to fall prey to increase climate change. He identified coastal erosion, the destruction of infrastructure, increased human displacement and the intrusion of salt water into fresh water as effects climate change to could undermine Liberia greatly.
The expert on climate change cited limited budgetary support, inadequate trained human resource, inadequate infrastructure, data collection and monitoring as some of the impediments to effectively combat climate change in the country.
Also speaking at the seminar was Mr. Kumbeh Assaf, National Project Coordinator on Early Warming, Ministry of Transport, who spoke on the theme: “The link between Environment and Development.”
Mr. Assaf called for proper maintenance of the environment and natural species by addressing the global problem of climate change, will lead to socio-political, economic and infrastructural development.
Given an overview of the seminar, the Director of Regional Science Program, Asst. Prof Francis N. Marweah disclosed plans of elevating the Environment Planning and Management Course to a Master’s Degree level at the UL Graduate School.
Environment Planning and Management provides students with the skills and know-how for strategic development, policy making and decision making. It also serves as a useful purpose of knowledge and how information is shared with the public.
He said that over the years, essential issues of environmental planning and management have been side-brushed, stating, “It is now time that our immediate environment forms the focus of our national planning, which this seminar seeks to achieve.”
Prof. Dr. Jonathan Taylor, Vice President for Graduate Education thanked the faculty and students for the seminar, noting, “We are very pleased for embarking on an effort on how we can influence the development of new knowledge, reading and research to solve problems in our country. Whether socio, political or whatever, once it is toward bringing positive change to society, the University of Liberia, like any other university, will lend support.”
The Graduate program in Regional Science is one of the constituent graduate programs of the University of Liberia, which was established in 1983 to contribute to the development of new ideas of concepts and alternative approaches to regional development and also to the training of professionals in the area of regional planning.-Press release