Provides jobs for thirty Liberians
By: Lester B. Cooper & Hawa P. Dorley (+231777368741 / +231 777936569)
The Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Dr. Nathaniel Blama has disclosed that his agency is committed to protecting Liberia’s abundant biodiversity. The EPA boss made the assertion when he spoke to EmployLiberia in an elaborate interview.
Mr. Blama said Liberia possesses one of the last remaining rainforests in the world with a huge biodiversity that need to be properly managed. He disclosed the EPA would be instituting novel policies that will not deprive the local inhabitants of their livelihoods in accordance with the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (ESIA).
According to the EPA boss, there are two forest blocks in Liberia: the Northwest and Southeast forest blocks. Blama disclosed that the EPA thoroughly streamlines companies which are desiring to operate in the rainforest. “We go through the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (ESIA) process and review those places with high conservation value and if any company willing to operate in an area which has huge concentration of biodiversity, we inform them that they cannot operate there because it has high conservation value”.
“The policies and laws of the EPA focus on the conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources for future generation” Blama said of the priorities of the organization trusted to protect Liberia’s abundance natural resources.
He divulged that one of the actions that had been outlined by the EPA is the massive degradation of our wetlands. “As a result of the massive degradation of our wetlands, the EPA was able to employ 30young Liberians to serve as security guards to protect our wetlands”.
Dr. Blama noted that the EPA has huge potential to contribute to President George MannehWeah overarching goal of employing many Liberians in the sector. “We have the potential to contribute to the employment of many Liberians, but at current we are short on the budgetary allotment needed to absorb many people” said the Environment Chief.
The 30 Liberians according to Blama were employed to assist in the preservation of Liberia’s rainforest and biodiversity. “They are serving as environmental police in the various counties” he opined.
Speaking more on the impact on the environment, Blama said Liberia was on the frontline of Climate Change given the country position and that more needs to be done to sensitize citizens on the effect of
climate change. He said the occurrence of flooding which battered many Liberians, especially in the coastal belt should serve as wake up call.
“This is a defining issue of our time and we should institute smart policies to mitigate climate change” he averred. Government, he said, cannot do it alone and that citizens need to be conscious of this and to play pivotal role in mitigating the effect of climate change.
Dr. Blama intoned that climate change is a major environmental threat facing the social and economic development of Liberia due to the low capacity of the country to adapt to the impact of climate change.
He said the impacts of Climate Change does not only undermine development gains, but also poses serious risk to food security which inexorably poses a threat to national security.