The Government of Liberia through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with The Nature Compact (TNC) over the weekend concluded a three-day round-table dialogue on Measuring Reporting Verification (MRV), Climate Finance, and Governance in Margibi County with the signing and approval of three pilot projects in the amount of US$ 900,000.00 from the Canadian Government through NovaSphare to strengthen multi-level climate governance and institutional arrangements in Liberia.
Held at Farmington Hotel, the three-day event attracted officials from the EPA, along with national officials from other ministries, including the Forestry Development Authority, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Liberia’s Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Internal Affairs, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations and institutions of higher learning.
The three projects, which were signed and approved also seek to institutionalize national Measuring Reporting Verification (MRV) are intended to develop a national MRV curriculum for training at universities, establish an inter-ministerial climate committee, and for the expansion of the MRV community of practices at both national and subnational levels.
EPA Deputy Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou said that Canadian-based, Novasphare has agreed to fund all three pilot projects.
NovaSphere is a Canadian-based institution. The institution’s mission is to engage with stakeholders and create solutions to climate change and sustainability, by encouraging and promoting cooperation and collaboration among the public and organizations; gathering, creating and exchanging information with the public and organizations; performing research, including developing and managing research projects; developing and managing conferences, symposia, meetings, exhibitions, and events; promoting the study of and providing training, support, development of governance, and standards of practice and programs.
According to Dobayou, the project to develop a national MRV curriculum for training at universities is valued at US$ 400,000.00, while the project to establish an inter-ministerial climate committee worth US$ 200,000.00.
The project to expand the MRV Community of practices at both national and subnational levels cost US$ 300,000.00.
Lisa Marroquin, Novasphare Vice President, and Program Director corroborated Dobayou’s assertion that her organization would fully fund the pilot projects.
Madam Marroquin explained that the three projects would lay the foundation for additional projects and said “we are happy to work with you on the success of these projects.”
In June 2018, the Government of Canada’s federal Department of Environment and Climate Change (ECCC) engaged NovaSphere to deliver a $1.1M project for “Support to enhance Measurement, Reporting and Verification with the Pacific Alliance” (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru).
The original project was expanded to $4. 3M in August 2019 to include 15 countries in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo).
The expanded project worked closely with partners to help define regional priorities to address greenhouse gas and SLCP emissions and to pursue opportunities for harmonizing measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) systems.
The Canadian government funding supported cooperation within and between the two regions, to facilitate the exchange of best practices that align with regional MRV priorities and help seed opportunities for the replication of best practices generated from bilateral projects in the region. The project completed in March 2022.
The project established an MRV Program with the mandate to provide technical and policy support to strengthen climate MRV systems for climate finance, mitigation actions, and emission inventories.
The main activities of the MRV Program included a series of consultations and research, baseline scoping reports, technical training, development of MRV communities of practice, a series of reports and South-South knowledge sharing, and development of a knowledge base. The MRV program successfully laid the groundwork for strengthened climate governance within the partner countries.
The MRV Program also facilitated the fundamental connectivity and institutional arrangements necessary for the effective and efficient sovereign, domestic climate MRV systems.
In a related development, the Liberian Government through the EPA has honored and gowned Madam Marroquin, Scott Muller, a consultant with NovaSphere, and Jill Mills for their contributions to the fight against climate change and environmental degradation.
Performing the honoring ritual, EPA Executive Director, Prof. Wilson Tarpeh said the ceremony is a tradition for Liberia to honor friends and partners they value and see as substantive.
Prof. Tarpeh conferred the honors on the three Canadians and named them after three Liberian traditional leaders who respectively contributed to peace in Liberia.
Mr. Muller was named Chief Tuazamah, a once powerful and influential paramount chief from northern Nimba County. Chief Tuazamah was passionate about education and helped with the peace process in Liberia.
Madam Marroquin was named Chief Mama Torma. Mama Torma was a chief Zoe who was very instrumental in the peace process. She is recorded in history for her relentless corporation to minimize the practice of female genital mutilation. She quickly transformed FGM bush into a learning center.
Jill was named Paramount Chief Lowa, a powerful female chief elected in 1975. She served for 11 years and became a role model for peace and reconciliation in Bong County. She is continuously remembered as a heroin in Bong County referenced for designating Katawee, a tourist site in Bong County.
In remarks, the three Canadians appreciated the honors bestowed on them and promised to continuously contribute to the country’s climate change fight.