The President of Bomi County Community College (BCCC), Dr. Zobong Norman, told participants at the one-day validation workshop, sponsored by Plan International Liberia in Tubmanburg, that Liberia should not overlook the effects of climate change.Last Thursday’s workshop was attended by 45 individuals, including students, professors and other professionals and was meant to validate a module to enable the college to offer environmental science to combat climate change.President Zobong Norman told the participants about the dangers that climate change poses to the environment and said the college is appreciative of Plan International’s support to develop ambassadors that would lead in the campaign to help communities throughout Liberia in the fight against climate change.He noted the ever-present threat in communities such as New Kru Town, West Point and areas in Buchanan that have been seriously affected by climate change.“The current exercise is to provide a response to this serious climate issue by arming graduates with the knowledge to take into their communities and we are grateful to Plan International for its support in this endeavor,” Dr. Norman said.He told the participants that changes in rainfall patterns and increased temperatures and heat waves are clear signs of climatic change due to human actions. Among the environmental disasters include oil sands, oil spills, biodiversity, corrosion, waste, air pollution, indoor smoke, skin cancer, agriculture, fisheries and forestry.He said changes in rainfall and temperature patterns have caused increased levels of water-borne diseases which are affecting the rural population.He challenged the participants to work along with the project and ensure that the validated document will be used in the college’s curriculum to foster climate change ambassadors.The participants examined a seven-chapter module, developed by the college Department of Agriculture, which is headed by Dean Christopher D. Momo.The subjects included causes and evidences of climate change, what is climate change, types of climate change in Liberia, causes of climate change, natural causes of climate change, human induced factors and the role of greenhouse gases.Other subjects included climate vulnerability index, features and benefits, indicators in four thematic impact areas for climate change and carbon economy, impacts of climate change, economics of climate change, biological diversity and climate change and the importance of biodiversity.In a brief overview, Alpha Kabba, Program Coordinator of Plan International, said the organization saw the need to initiate the introduction of climate change learning at Bomi College.He promised further support to the College in providing quality education that could make a difference for its graduates in other areas of interest in the country.Kabba said Plan International Liberia determines to work with the BCCC administration to develop a curriculum for the college to offer a two-year course in environmental science.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
…spending oil money to be guided by GSDS frameworkThe much-anticipated draft Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) policy, which has been with the Finance Ministry since early 2017, is expected to be presented to cabinet early next month, setting into motion the official establishment of the fund.This is according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who made this disclosure at a press conference on Friday. According to Jordan, the green paper (proposal) for the fund, renamed the Natural Resources Fund, is presently being finalised.Jordan also noted that the green paper seeks to determine how monies from the fund will be guided by the Government’s Green State Development Strategy (GSDS).The policy has been with the Finance Ministry since 2017The strategy, he said, contains 15 areas of development, in which context Government can conduct consultations.“That debate can be accelerated in the context of the Green State Development Strategy. The coalition Government’s blueprint is going to be the Green State Development Strategy: trying to put in place resilient infrastructure, trying to bridge the gaps, create additional towns and new spaces, and make Guyana green. That will require money,” he declared.“We can end up with a blueprint of what we want to do. During the annual budget exercise, there are widespread consultations, but to suggest that we need to call people together and sit around the campfire and determine how to spend this money, I don’t think anyone seriously could believe that there would be a model to push this country forward. We cannot discuss what we want to do with the oil money outside of a framework,” Jordan declared.GSDSWhen the GSDS was introduced, it was billed as a framework that would “build” on the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) designed by the previous administration to protect the environment while receiving financing.According to the framework document, a critical element will be the sustainable management of natural resources. In fact, one of the strategy’s goals is the mandatory reforestation of mining sites.The document stated that it will aim to “conserve an additional 2 million hectares through Guyana’s National Protected Area System, continuing to use its monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system.”It also plans on continuing promotion of the Iwokrama as a dedicated place for research “to develop, demonstrate, and make available to Guyana and the international community systems, methods and techniques for the sustainable management and utilisation of the multiple resources of the tropical forest and the conservation of biological diversity.”In the document, it is stated that a combination of conservation and sustainable management of its forests will form the crux of the strategy.It is noted that attracting additional international support for avoided deforestation through reforms in timber industries would include reduced impact logging.It is also slated to include “reviewing compliance with agreed sustainability targets; and in the mining industry, including mapping of mining resources, improving mining efficiency, and mandatory reforestation of mining sites. Some of these activities are already in the pilot phase. For example, sustainable land management and development – putting degraded and deforested lands to productive use.”The framework document states that the elements of the strategy will be examined and consulted upon between April and December of 2017. Public consultations are yet to begin.Within the framework, seven “central themes” are provided. They include promises to diversify the economy, “creating decent jobs for all”, transitioning to renewable energy, and “human development and wellbeing.”The framework of the GSDS and financing mechanisms’ document was completed in March with financial and technical support from UN Environment. Initial consultations in regard to the development of the framework document began in December 2016 between the Government and other key stakeholders.
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