LIBERIA: EPA Boss Named UN Envoy …For Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility

The Board of Directors of the United Nations Capital Development Fund-Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (UNCDF-LoCAL) has appointed Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia as its ambassador.

He was appointed at the 10th annual Board Meeting of UNCDF-LoCAL on 12 May 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.

Prof. Tarpeh is now tasked with the responsibility to lobby and advocate for LoCAL as a means to channel climate finance to the local level in developing and least-developed countries.

He will as well encourage other countries to join and adopt the LoCAL mechanism.

The LoCAL mechanism is an opportunity to present vertical integration of adaptation at the local level.

 It offers an opportunity to implement systems for adaptation financing that ensure funds reach the people that need it the most– local communities.

“And this is in line with the vision of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity under the leadership of President George M. Weah,” a release from the EPA said.

In response, Prof. Tarpeh said, “This accomplishment is dedicated to the men and women of the EPA, upon whose commitment, dedication, and professional output over the years, have made this possible.”

“Secondly, we bestow this designation to the Board of Directors for its sterling and strategic guidance and oversight,” The EPA Boss added.

 Speaking further, Prof. Tarpeh said “Lastly, and most importantly, we dedicate this to the President of the Republic whose recognition and support of the EPA, has put Liberia on the top edge of the Global Climate Change Architecture.

Prof. Tarpeh’s appointment as ambassador speaks to the huge leap he has made at the EPA.

It will bring enormous benefits to Liberia as LoCAL helps local government authorities in least-developed countries and other developing countries access the climate finance, capacity-building and technical support they need to respond and adapt to climate change.

A standard, internationally recognized mechanism designed and hosted by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), LoCAL promotes climate-change-resilient communities and local economies.

LoCAL is owned by participating countries, most of which are LDCs, with priorities defined at the annual LoCAL Board.

At COP26, the LDC Group recognized LoCAL as a long-term initiative in support of LDCs’ climate action objectives.

 LoCAL supports LDCs in reviewing and implementing Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans as well as securing direct access to international finance from the Adaptation Fund and Green Climate Fund for further deployment of the mechanism. 

The LoCAL guidelines were endorsed by the LDC Expert Group to the UNFCCC in 2019

LoCAL has engaged some 304 local governments, representing over 11.5 million people in 16 countries: Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, The Gambia, Ghana, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Tanzania, and Tuvalu. Another 13 countries have expressed interest in deploying LoCAL and design activities are underway, these include Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Guinea, Jamaica, Liberia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Zambia bringing the total number of LoCAL countries to 29, with the potential to reach some 600 million people.

A key benefit of LoCAL is its versatility.

Though many LDCs have a shared and unenviable position on the climate change frontline, their countries are being challenged in very different ways – so Niger is battling drought and desertification while Bangladesh is holding back floods and rising sea levels.

“LoCAL is designed to be systemic yet flexible,” said Sophie De Coninck, LoCAL Facility Manager. “One of the reasons the mechanism is able to deliver results in countries that are facing very different climate challenges is that local governments and communities decide what adaptation actions the grants should finance and really take ownership of the whole process.”

Local governments are supported to develop climate change adaptation plans that meet their community’s needs. Actions are financed through special grants, known as performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRGs), and include technical support and capacity-building measures.

LoCAL, originally designed by the UN Capital Development Fund, is strongly supported with funding from the European Union and Member States, in particular Sweden. Over US $125 million of funds, including domestic resources, have already been mobilised. Actions are as varied as the needs of the countries and vulnerable groups that participate in LoCAL.

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