The private sector media sensitization panel discussion, which was held in Gbarnga, Bong County from September 9-10, was organized by the Cross-Cutting Capacity Development (CCCD) Project at the EPA in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Unlike previous forums, the just ended meeting brought together top media managers and newsrooms editors as part of an effort to further accelerate the involvement of the media at the top level as issues of the global environment are becoming increasingly scaring with Liberia and other low-income expected to lose more if not properly managed.
In a presentationby Mr.Aaron S.M. Wesseh, Manager of the EPA CCCD Project, he highlighted that climate change, unstainable management of biodiversity, and land degradation are poised to disrupt the global economy. Wesseh pointed out in his presentation that despite the threat being faced by the global environment with poor countries standing to feel the brunt of the effects, awareness of global environmental issues and their socio-economic impact is limited.
He stated that this can be changed by improving environmental awareness of the private sector. “The adverse impacts of unsustainable management of the environment are becoming more and more visible day by day and the impact already being felt in Liberia. These impacts will continue to worsen as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, forest cover removed, waste unmanaged, water bodies polluted,” Wesseh asserted.
“Liberia’s efforts to pursue sustainable development aspirations, no matter how noble they may be, could be affected by the lack or limited awareness of the impacts of climate change which include among others: sea-level rise, ocean acidification, biodiversity lost, flooding, air and water pollution and deforestation. As such, there is merit in approaching the private sector and media in a sensitization panel discussions on the environment,” he furthered.
Wesseh disclosed that the CCCD project of the EPA is in line with the GEF-6 CCCD Strategy objective 1, 3, and 5 which call for countries to integrate global environmental needs into management information systems and monitoring, integrate MEA provisions into national policy, legislative, and regulatory frameworks, and update National Capacity Self-Assessments (NCSAs) respectively.
He said the goal of the project is for Liberia to make better decisions to meet and sustain global environmental obligations.
“This requires the country to have the capacity to coordinate efforts, as well as best practices for integrating global environmental priorities into planning, decision-making, and reporting processes. To that end, the project seeks to strengthen a targeted set of national capacities to deliver and sustain global environmental outcomes within the framework of sustainable development priorities,” he added.
Meanwhile, the overriding objective of the two-day forum was to serve as an integrated platform for a holistic approach to raise awareness and understanding of the global environmental issues and their socio-economic implications on economic growth and livelihood.