EPA-SL conducts exchange visits on capacity building initiative for CBIT project in Liberia 


By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya, External Relations and Advocacy Manager, EPA Sierra Leone

In the quest to enhance the capacity of staff in line with the EPA transformation Strategy and to learn from experiences in the implementation of the CBIT project in Liberia, the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone conducted a peer to peer visit at the Liberian EPA from the 19th -21st June 2024. The visit, which was supported by the Global Environment Facility under the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency, aimed to enhance the capacity of members of Sierra Leone’s Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) project management Unit at the EPA Sierra Leone, gain a general understanding of the climate change structures in Liberia and the implementation dynamics of the CBIT project in the country including lessons learned during the project implementation, gender considerations, stakeholder engagement, challenges, systems put in place, and collaboration among key stakeholders.

Sierra Leone and Liberia share borders and sometimes speak the same language; the two countries are rich in natural resources and have experienced years of civil instabilities, Ebola epidemic and Covid-19 pandemic.  Both countries are also posed to bear some of the greatest devastating impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.

The Sierra Leone EPA team was led by the Director of Programme Development and Performance and Project Coordinator of the CBIT project, Mrs. Lovetta Yatta Juanah. She was accompanied by the Manager of the Climate Change Secretariat, Mr. Emmanuel During, the Manager of the External Relations and Advocacy department, Mr. Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya and also the Environment Officer of the Climate Change Secretariat- Mrs. Frances A. Bangura. 

The team was received and welcomed by the Executive Director, Staff, and senior management of the Liberian Environment Protection Agency. Whilst conducting the open courtesies at the headquarters of the Liberian EPA in Maryland-Monrovia, the Sierra Leonean team lead extended greetings and on behalf of the Executive Chairman of the Agency and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.  She emphasized the importance placed on Climate Change as a pillar in the Agency’s transformation Strategy and highlighted actions taken by the Agency, (which hosts the National Climate Change Secretariat, the focal point for climate actions) to meet global obligations and reporting requirements.

During the opening session, the Liberian EPA Executive Director, Dr. Emmanuel K. Urey Yarkpawolo said “at the time the world is facing the greatest challenge of the 21st century with rising temperatures and associated devastation, with a divided view on the solutions, I cannot overemphasize the importance of South-South cooperation and collaboration”. She adds “Liberia and Sierra Leone have shared needs and common interests”. 

As the environmental counterpart who has successfully implemented the CBIT project, the Liberian EPA team shared their experiences and challenges as well as recommendations for effective transparency efforts for curbing Climate Change issues in   their country During the technical meeting held at the Bela Casa Hotel, both countries showcased achievements, key milestones, challenges, opportunities and lessons learned during the implementation of both projects

On the 3rd and final day of the exchange visit, the EPA Liberia acting Manager of the Multilateral Environmental Agreement, Arthur R.M. Decker led the EPA Sierra Leone on a conducted tour across Monrovia City, including the PH Park and the Liberian Green Cities; a site where plastic wastes etc. are being sorted out and transformed into ’wealth’ The team also paid courtesy visits to other key government institutions such as the Liberian National Disaster Management Agency where Madam Juanah elaborated on close collaboration between the two counterpart government institutions.


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