Liberia vulnerable to climate change – Konneh

Minister Konneh (right) and Director Cheikhrouhou

Minister Konneh (right) and Director Cheikhrouhou

The head of the Liberian Delegation at the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France, Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh on Wednesday held talks with Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive  Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) on the side lines of the Paris Conference.

During the meeting, Minister Konneh highlighted the country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. He pointed out that the growing sea level has led to the intrusion of the sea in most of the coastal communities leading to the destruction of lives and infrastructures.

Minister Konneh also identified the degradation of the Mesurado River in Monrovia noting its discoloration and stressed the importance of the GCF Financial Support for concrete climate change adaptation projects in strengthening the resilience of the country to climate change.

The Liberian head of delegation further underscored the need to strengthen national institutions of higher learning to develop curricula that will train young people to ensure the protection of the climate and the environment. He also mentioned that the country was concern about sustained public awareness for the people of Liberia to capacitate young people, especially to become Climate Ambassadors.

In response, the Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund expressed thanks and appreciation to Minister Konneh and assured him that The Fund was established for vulnerable countries like Liberia to address national adaptation and mitigation activities.

Liberian delegates in brainstorming session

Liberian delegates in brainstorming session

Madam Hela Cheikhrouhou indicated that the fund was looking forward to ensure that Liberia benefits from its Readiness and Support Program as the first major step to ensure stakeholders’ consultations and at the same time to strengthen relevant institutions prior to the development, approval and execution of projects on the ground.

Minister Konneh who is also the Board Chair of Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency was accompanied to the meeting by the Liberian Ambassador to France, William Allen; Anyaa Vohiri, executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency; Harrison Karnwea, managing director of the Forestry Development Authority; Senator Morris Saytumah, among others 

The fund is a unique global initiative to respond to climate change by investing into low-emission and climate-resilient development. GCF was established by 194 governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, and to help adapt vulnerable societies to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Given the urgency and seriousness of the challenge, the fund is mandated to make an ambitious contribution to the united global response to climate change.

Members of the Liberian delegation attending the conference are deliberating and participating in panel discussions on different thematic areas on the climate and the environment along with other delegates from around the world.

Isaac C. Yeah
Minister Counselor
(Press and Public Affairs)
Embassy of Liberia-France/EU