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Govt., Partners Rescue EKMS from Collapse

by porkpad3

By Joseph F. Charlie

The government of Liberia and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have come to the rescue of the Environmental Knowledge Management System (EKMS), a project initiated at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 2013 with sponsorship from the UNDP through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

Funding for the project will come to an end on September 30, 2022 something that prompted partners led by the EPA to hold a crucial dialogue in Margibi County strategizing on means by which they could contribute funds for the sustainability of the project.

The second phase of the EKMS project was launched yesterday in Monrovia with the certification of EKMS Officers and Knowledge Brokers; in addition to the signing of the resolution from the dialogue reached a forth night ago in Margibi County by stakeholders on the sustainability of the EKMS project.

At the dialogue, stakeholders deliberated on the importance of the Environmental Knowledge Management System to Liberia and as such, found it imperative for it to be sustained through National Ownership-they were encouraged to commit towards the continued implementation and sustainability of the Environmental Knowledge Management System.

Speaking at the program held at the Monrovia City Hall, Deputy Finance Minister for Budget and Development Planning Mrs. Tanneh G. Brunson noted that the Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) commits to underwrite the cost of the Secretariat of the Environmental Knowledge Management System for the next  three months (October, November and December), and an initial Fifty Thousand United States Dollars (US$50,000.00) support to the Project for the next fiscal year 2023.

She disclosed that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning will work with all stakeholders to allocate funds in the 2023 National Budget to support the Secretariat of the Environmental Knowledge Management System at the EPA.

She indicated that though meager, is an indication of government and Partners  commitment to mitigating environmental challenges despite ongoing competing developmental priorities-we see the Environmental Knowledge Management System as key to the people of Liberia and the world at large understanding the importance of the dissemination of environmental information.

Mrs. Brunson disclosed that the total budget for this project over the past three years plus, has been in the tone of $3Million United States Dollars, jointly funded by GEF, through UNDP and the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. “We must admit, it has been a great journey partnering with UNDP on this project and we extend our heartfelt appreciation to them on behalf of the Government of Liberia.” She stressed.

According to Deputy Minister Brunson, the goal of this project is to enhance capacity to make better decisions to meet and sustain global environmental obligations which require coordinated efforts, as well as best practices for integrating global environmental priorities into planning, decision-making, and reporting processes.

She explained that the EKMS is an integrated online knowledge platform that seeks to attract and complement the growing agenda at the Rio conventions within the natural resource management sector and external partners to mainstream environmental initiatives-this system, established in Liberia in 2019, has been integrated in 18-line ministries and on various websites including the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and all key natural resource management institutions into a single repository portal.

Additionally, she indicated that the EKMS is a user-friendly integrated platform that allows for environmental information collection, storing and sharing. Madam Brunson: “Notably, the Environmental Knowledge Management System is part of the Cross-Cutting Capacity Development Project that is jointly funded by the Government of Liberia and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund with support from the UNDP Trac Resources.”

Deputy Minister Brunson: “We would also like to extend thanks to the University of Liberia, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Liberia Land Authority, Ministry of Public Works and all the other entities who not only participated in the just ended dialogue but who also made resounding commitments for the continued implementation and sustainability of the Environmental Knowledge Management System.”

Others stakeholders who spoke at the occasion include the Chairman of the Board of Director of the EPA Cllr. Rupel Marshall, Deputy Executive Director of the EPA, Hon. Randall Dobayou, Deputy Public Works Minister for Administration Hon. Joseph P. Todd among others.

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