Liberia’s National Adaptation Programme of Action
Women farmers working in the field: Photo UNDP in Liberia
SEI is working with the government of Liberia to support its process of climate adaptation.This process is affording Liberia the opportunity to reflect systematically, together with a wide range of stakeholders, on what measures will increase the capacity of vulnerable communities to cope with climate volatility and the future impacts of climate change.
Executive summary of NAPA
Although endowed with bountiful and diverse natural resources, Liberia has become susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change. Contributing factors include shifting cultivation, unsustainable logging practices, unregulated coastal mining, high levels of biomass consumption(charcoal and fire wood) and decreasing river flows due to high evaporation. Each of these contributing factors is further aggravated by inadequate infrastructure, low levels of social development, population displacement, low institutional capacity, and inadequate meteorological and hydrological data.
The National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) has been prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency based on the initiative that emerged from the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-7) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Marrakech in 2001. The preparation of NAPA followed guidance provided by the Least Developed Country Expert Group (LEG) in their annotated guidelines.
Consistent with this guidance, the NAPA document explicitly accounts for synergies between adaptation and national development plans, such as the National Reconstruction and Development Plan (NRDP), as well as with multilateral initiatives such as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the National Biodiversity and Strategy Action Plan.
The participation of stakeholder groups was an essential part of the NAPA process. Civil society organizations, women groups, indigenous people, CBOs, National and International NGOs, policy makers, academic and research institutions played major roles in the development of the NAPA document, as well as in the assessment of impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation measures.
As a result of this process, it is now overwhelmingly clear that the adverse effects of climate change variability and extreme events are already significantly impacting sustainable development priorities in Liberia. At the policy level, several adaptation initiatives aimed at reducing the adverse effects of climate change while promoting sustainable development were identified as being of the highest priority, including:
- Capacity building to integrate climate change in development planning, designing infrastructure, land and coastal zone management planning and institutions.
- Raising awareness by disseminationclimate change and adaptationinformation, particularly to vulnerablecommunities such as farmers and costalsettlements.
- Mainstreaming adaptation to climatechange into policies through programsin agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy,health, gender andmeteorology/hydrology.
At the project level, several highest priority initiatives aimed at reducing the vulnerability of local communities to increasing climatic variability were identified through a participatory process, including:
- Integrated cropping/livestock farming with the objective of diversifying crop farming through the cultivation of soybeans, lowland rice and small ruminants rearing.
- Improved Monitoring of ClimateChange with the objective of generatingreliable hydrometeorlogical data andimproving the measurement of climaticparameters.
- Coastal defense systems for the cities of Buchanan and Monrovia with the objective of reducing the incidence offlood, erosion, and siltation in Monrovia and Buchanan.