Liberia

 

Although endowed with bountiful and diverse natural resources, Liberia has become susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change. Contributing factors include shifting cultivation, unsustainable logging practices, unregulated coastal mining, high levels of biomass consumption(charcoal and fire wood) and decreasing river flows due to high evaporation.

At the project level, several highest priority initiatives aimed at reducing the vulnerability of local communities to increasing climatic variability were identified through a participatory process, including: Integrated cropping/livestock farming with the objective of diversifying crop farming through the cultivation of soybeans, lowland rice and small ruminants rearing; Improved Monitoring of Climate Change with the objective of generating reliable hydrometeorlogical data and improving the measurement of climatic parameters

The population of Liberia is about 2.9 million (Ministry of Planning, 2003), with an annual growth rate of almost 5 percent – one of the highest in the world. Population density throughout most of the country is less than 30 people per square kilometre, except in certain location by the coast and in the north where population density per square kilometre is considerably higher – over 340 people per square kilometre. Liberia is situated on the Atlantic Coast of West Africa along the wide South-West Curve North of the Gulf of Guinea Coast (see figure to the right). Lying within Longitude 7o 18’ –11o 30’ West and Latitude 4o 20’- 8o 30’ North, Liberia covers an area of 38,000 square miles (just over 102 thousand square kilometres).

Much of the effects of increasing climatic variability and climatic change threaten key economic sectors in Liberia, namely agriculture, fisheries, forestry, energy, health, meteorology/hydrology.

Related Content

National Adaptation Plans in Liberia

The GCF-funded project "To advance the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) process for medium-term investment planning in climate-sensitive sectors (i.e. agriculture, energy, waste management, forestry and health) and coastal areas in Liberia" will work to strengthen institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process, expand the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation, build capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems, and formulate financing mechanisms for scaling-up adaptation, including public, private, national and international.

National partners will include the Environment Planning Authority and the National Climate Change Secretariat. Other key partners are the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Ministry of Agriculture, National Disaster Management Commission, National Port Authority of Liberia, Liberia Maritime Authority, Bureau of National Fisheries, Liberia National Department of Meteorology, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services and University of Liberia.

Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-10.055053775392 6.4330353190148)
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$2.3 million
Project Details: 

Liberia, like other developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs), is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. While Liberia has a low carbon footprint, the impact and effects of climate change may have severe consequences in multiple sectors and areas.  Changes in temperature and precipitation may affect several sectors and areas across Liberia, including agriculture, fisheries, forests, energy production related to the availability of water resources, coastal areas and health.

At the sectoral level, 70% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods, while rural areas are as much as 80% vulnerable to food insecurity, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In the 350 miles of coastal areas, these are exposed to the combined effects of ongoing coastal erosion, climate change induced sea level rise, change in the frequency and intensity of storms, and increases in precipitation and warmer ocean temperatures. For health, climate change may lead to increased vulnerability to malaria, cholera and diarrheal diseases, as well as increased incidence of other diseases. Finally, climate change may negatively impact hydroelectric generation from the Mount Coffee hydropower plant.

Liberia began its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process in 2015 with the development of a Road Map in consultation with the main stakeholders in the country. This road map was based on an evaluation of the existing climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives, an assessment of the knowledge, capacity and implementation gaps, as well as an assessment of the capacity development needs. The road map provides a guideline for implementation of the NAP process in Liberia, and the areas to work in the short, medium and long term.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Output 1: Strengthening of Institutional Frameworks and coordination for the NAPs process

1.1. Development of a climate change strategy and action plan for adaptation, in support of the on-going development of the Climate Change Policy

Prior to the NAP, the GoL has implemented a number of climate change related initiatives; including the NAPA in 2008, Initial National Communication in 2012, National Climate Change Policy and REDD+ in 2012. The lack of institutional and technical capacity on climate change adaptation in Liberia prevents the GoL and the stakeholders to integrate fully ACC into planning and budgeting processes, and to implement successfully adaptation strategies.

1.2. Development of sector-based climate change strategies and actions plans in agriculture and coastal management

The coastal development and management and agriculture have been identified as priority sectors for NAP in Liberia. The present project will focus primarily on these sectors. In order to integrate the CCA in sectoral policy, it is important to evaluate all current adaptation options and integrate adaptation into all sectoral policies. Updated and relevant climate vulnerability and risk assessment, studies on the economic impacts of climate change as it relates to the key sectors and most important resources give decisions makers and the most vulnerable population adequate tools/information to integrate climate change into their planning strategies. Also, it enables them to better plan their medium and long-term adaptation programs/policies/strategies.

Output 2: Expansion of the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation

At the moment, there is limited scientific data (resources, socio-economic indicators, meteorological, etc.) and information on climate impacts in Liberia, with limited knowledge of current climate variability, climate risks and no early warning system data. There is a need to develop and disseminate socio-economic scenarios to project the future impacts of climate change in Liberia and develop vulnerability studies at the sector and national level. Related to climate services, there is limited capacity to monitor, forecast, archive, analyse and communicate hydro-meteorological and climate change information. The modelling capacity, infrastructures and human capacity of the meteorological department and other climate services need to be reinforced in order to identify climate change hazards and to explore/ evaluate suitable adaptation options in the vulnerable sectors.

2.1. Effective Climate data and related information knowledge sharing platform created

Actual and past climate data collection and analysis are essential to the NAP process. Furthermore, with climate change cutting across multiple sectors, it’s necessary for Liberia to implement a platform to make accessible climate data and related information across all sectors, and to engage all stakeholders in the process (producers and beneficiaries). Related to climate services, there is limited capacity to monitor, forecast, archive, analyze and communicate hydro-meteorological and climate change information.

2.2. Natural disasters risk management and reduction strategies developed

Climate related hazards (floods, windstorms, fire, and sea erosion) are likely to worsen with climate change in Liberia. This in turn will have significant impact on local communities livelihood, the key sectors and overall national economic performances. One possible entry point for NAP is the integration of natural disasters risk management and reduction strategies for in Liberia public financing.

Output 3: Development of guidelines and criteria for mainstreaming climate change adaptation in Government budgeting and planning, climate-proofing projects, and reporting

3.1. Development of technical guidelines for the personnel of Ministry of Finance & Development Planning (MFDP) and other relevant Ministries to include climate change into budgeting and planning.

The NAP process as a transversal process integrates multiple sectors. Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into policy and budgeting processing (at the sectoral, national and subnational) implies identifying and evaluating all current and on-going CCA options and developing guidelines for the personnel of key Ministries to include climate change into all planning and budgeting processes.

3.2. Capacity building for the private sector, financial intermediaries and other stakeholders in the implementation of adaptation activities.

In addition to strong institutions and coordination mechanisms, adequate level of technical knowledge on climate change and ACC of staff of sectoral ministries, private sector, financial intermediaries and other stakeholders are needed to implement and prioritize adaptation options.

3.3. Development of tools (screening tools, scorecards) for climate proofing of investments in infrastructure and other areas that may be sensitive to the impacts of climate change, to be able to withstand those impacts.

Climate-proofing a project is to reduce the climate change potential impact on the project activities. The final goal is to increase resilience to climate change, protect investments and increase the project sustainability. Generally, it involves assessing the risks posed by climate change and modifying the project design to reduce those risks. In order to climate proof investments in infrastructure and other areas that may be sensitive to the impacts of climate change, it is important to develop and apply tools (such as, the Climate Proofing for Development, designed by GIZ) enabling the inclusion climate aspect into planning and designing of project at national, sectoral, and local levels.

3.4. Implement reporting system to track investments and other climate related finance in adaptation.

The NAP process being an ongoing process with iterative steps, it is essential to periodically monitor and evaluate the progress made. The guidelines of the LEG on the NAP insist on the importance of the M&E process (Axis D). Moreover, M&E is useful for reporting to the international and bilateral donors and as well as to the UNFCCC.

Output 4: Formulation of financial mechanisms for scaling up adaptation In Liberia, like many other developing countries, a significant handicap is the non-appropriation of processes at all levels and the lack of local funds to sustain previous investments.

4.1. Designing of procedures to scale up adaptation investments and address financial gaps.

The GCF resources will allow the GoL to identify and provide adequate alternative funding to support adaptations strategies implementation. Additionally, inclusion of climate change into the planning and national budget process at an early stage will secure co-financing of internationally funded projects by the GoL.

4.2. Fostering Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to support adaptation investments

Public private partnerships (PPP) in identifying and managing climate variability and to manage climate change, is essential planning climate change adaptation actions. The private sector companies, for their own economic interest, collect and analyse climate data. To be cost effective, it is necessary to learn and capitalize the private sector’s experience in identifying climate variability and managing climate change. The importance of the private sector in supporting Liberia’s CCA actions is well established in its Initial National Communication (2013) and INDC (2015). With Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), the private sector (petroleum and industrial companies) is a major producer of GHGs in Liberia (the energy and agricultural sector GHGs production amount to 67.5% and 31.9% of the national total, respectively). The role of the private sector in CCA in Liberia can be summarized in the following: (i) identification and implementation of strategies to reduce GHGs emissions, (ii) provision and sales of climate-sensible technologies and services, and (iii) funding of CCA projects.

Project Status: 
News and Updates: 

Liberia receives first instalment of US$2.2 million GCF grant for climate adaptation
10 July, 2015, Green Climate Fund
The Government of Liberia has recently received US$805,000 as part of a US$2.2 million Green Climate Fund grant to support its national climate adaptation planning process. The release of funds to the West African country represents GCF’s first transfer of adaptation resources to a least developed country (LDC). Supported through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the GCF-funded project "to advance the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) process for medium-term investment planning in climate-sensitive sectors (i.e. agriculture, energy, waste management, forestry and health) and coastal areas in Liberia" will work to strengthen institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process, expand the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation, build capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems, and formulate financing mechanisms for scaling-up adaptation, including public, private, national and international.

GCF approves first grants for National Adaptation Planning in Liberia and Nepal
15 November 2016, Green Climate Fund
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) today announced the approval of its first grants in support of processes to develop National Adaptation Plans (NAPs). Under the GCF's Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme, Liberia will receive USD 2.2 million with UNDP acting as its delivery partner to implement its NAPs activities, whilst Nepal will receive a grant of USD 2.9 million via UNEP.

Display Photo: 
Subtitle: 

To advance the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) process for medium-term investment planning in climate-sensitive sectors (i.e. agriculture, energy, waste management, forestry and health) and coastal areas in Liberia

Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Output 1 - Strengthen institutional frameworks and coordination for the implementation of the NAP process

Output 2 - Expand the knowledge base for scaling up adaptation

Output 3 - Build capacity for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into planning, and budgeting processes and systems

Output 4 - Formulate financing mechanisms for scaling-up adaptation, including public, private, national and international.

Enhancing Resilience Of Liberia Montserrado County Vulnerable Coastal Areas To Climate Change Risks II

The United Nations Development Programme is working with the Government of Liberia to ensure investment of a new tranche of US$4 million from the Least Developed Countries Fund is used to reduce the vulnerability of physical assets and natural systems, protect coastal areas, and mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. The "Enhancing Resilience Of Liberia Montserrado County Vulnerable Coastal Areas To Climate Change Risks II" project will work to build national capacity and drive policy coordination in the coastal county of Montserrado to plan and respond to climate change. The project will benefit from a proposed US$2.2 million Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund grant and US$2.1 million in co-financing.

The project will contribute to global environmental benefits and improve the livelihoods of the citizens of Liberia with the improved management of 300 million hectares of seascapes, placing 120 million hectares under sustainable land management practices. It will promote the collective management of transboundary water systems, and implement a full range of policy, legal and institutional reforms and investments to contribute to the sustainable use of ecosystem services.

Large environmental benefits are also planned. Most notably, 750 million tons of Carbon Dioxide will be mitigated and 1000 tons of mercury will be reduced.

Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Thematic Area: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (-10.898437505234 6.2570499878091)
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$2.1 million (proposed GEF LDCF grant)
Co-Financing Total: 
US$2.1 million (proposed co-financing)
Project Details: 

The Liberia coastline is subject to see level rise. Indeed, by the year 2090, the SRESB1 predicts a rise of sea level between 0.13m and 0.43m, whereas SRESA1 predicts a rise of between 0.18m and 0.56m , relative to 1980 - 1999 mean , (INC, 2013). This forecasted sea level rise, combined with increased intensity of storms and potential storm surges is very likely to accelerate the present catastrophic situation of coastal erosion. The orientation of Liberia’s coastline and its location on the Gulf of Guinea coastline, make it particularly exposed to the southern Atlantic annual sea storm surges. These surges lead to average tidal rises of over 2m during a brief period in spring – a major driver of coastal erosion. According to the NAPA (2008), the areas along the coast where erosion is most severe are Montserrado County coastlines, (West Point and New Kru Town and River Cess), Buchanan and Cestos Cities.

In the Montserrado County, sea-level rise would lead to shoreline retreat. The intensity of the retreat would vary along the coast from between 10 meters/year in the higher cliffed zone (e.g. between Mamba Point and Sinkor) to about 20 meters/year in the lowlands on Bush Rod Island. A considerable population is currently residing and working in these threatened zones, particularly around West Point. Another important expected impact of sea level rise is direct inundation of low-lying wetlands and dry land areas. For example, over the last 40 years, Liberia has experienced a number of climate-induced and sea-induced disasters. Communities such as New Kru Town and Hotel Africa in Montserrado are regularly under water. According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), it is projected that a one meter sea level rise (scenario B2) would lead to permanent inundation of about 95 km2 of land in the coastal zone of Liberia. With a one-meter sea level rise, densely populated parts of t he capital city of Monrovia and its environs – including West Point, Hotel Africa, Kru Town and River Cess would be submerged. These are currently the housing areas for tens of thousands of people. A conservative estimate suggests about 250 million United States Dollars worth of land and infrastructures (such as the Hotel Africa complex) would be lost . The anticipated socio-economic impacts of the nexus of sea-level rise, coastal erosion and regular coastal flooding are largely negative and potentially disastrous for coastal communities. These factors are likely to have most impacts in the most densely populated areas such as the coastal areas of the County of Montserrado with large numbers of poor people. They are likely to destroy property, destroy rural infrastructure (markets, roads, centres, clinics), to destroy land, to destroy livelihood equipment (boats, mobile market stands, stoves, etc). Quite simply, the poor people have nowhere to go and no way to protect their personal and community belongings. Montserrado coastal communities are already observing and feeling the impacts of the sea-level rise, coastal erosion and coastal flooding nexus.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Output 1 – Capacity of the climate change secretariat enhanced to drive policy coordination in the coastal county of Montserrado to plan and respond to climate change.

Expected Outputs:
•    1.1. Raised awareness of senior county officials, decision-makers and stakeholders.
•    1.2 Capacity of the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) is strengthened
•    1.3 A county coastal protection unit is established, staffed and equipped
•    1.4 Semi-skilled workers able to prepare, build and maintain gabions and revetments etc.
•    1.5 A system for monitoring the maintenance of coastal protection measures is established,
•    1.6 County Development Agenda that fully addresses climate change prepared and approved.

Outcome 2 – At the sites of Hotel Africa and Kru Town, sustainable and affordable measures to protect coastal areas against climate change impacts are demonstrated.

Expected Outputs:
•    2.3 Hotel Africa and New Kru Town communities protected from climate change impacts.

Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Project Status: 
News and Updates: 

US$2M for New Kru Town Coastal Defense

Liberian Observer
Friday 24 February 2017

Local Project Appraisal Committee members attending a one-day appraisal meeting yesterday at a resort in Monrovia agreed that the US$2 million provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) must be directed to the ongoing New Kru Town coastal defense project. Among other things, the project aims to ensure that the D. Twe Memorial High School and the Redemption Hospital are not swept away by erosion. The participants were drawn from the Ministry of Lands & Mines and Energy (MLME), the Ministry of Public Works, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), civil society members, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP). The local Project Appraisal Committee members, before the unanimous decision, examined a summary project document presented by the EPA and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The meeting was held under the theme: “Enhancing Resilience of Montserrado County Vulnerable Coastal Areas to Climate Change Risks.”

 

Display Photo: 
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

Outcome 1 – Vulnerability of physical assets and natural systems reduced.

Outcome 2 – At the sites of Hotel Africa and Kru Town, sustainable and affordable measures to protect coastal areas against climate change impacts are demonstrated.

 

Liberia NAP Stocktaking Report

Stocktaking report and preliminary road map for advancing Liberia’s NAP process

Project Brief: Liberia (August 2015)

This project brief gives an overview of the project, and details Issues, Actions, and Expected Impacts.

Project Brief: Liberia (August 2015)

This project brief gives an overview of the project, and details Issues, Actions, and Expected Impacts.

Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture Project: Implementation Manual for the Capacity Development Plan, May 2013

The purpose of this manual is to guide the Ministry of Agriculture in Liberia through the implementation of a capacity development plan for climate change.  This plan is set out in an accompanying document, as is the capacity needs assessment that informed the plan.

Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture Project: Capacity Development Plan, March 2013

The plan set out in this report takes a distinctive ‘learning by doing’ approach. The plan engages staff from the outset in helping farmers to adapt, analysing risks and options, producing strategies and plans and working in teams with other government agencies, NGOs, the private sector and researchers.  

Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture: Capacity Needs Assessment, March 2013

The government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Agriculture and the United Nations Development Programme, is embarking on a major project titled: ‘Enhancing resilience to climate change by mainstreaming adaptation concerns into the agriculture sector in Liberia’. This four-year project, commencing 2012, is funded by the Global Environment Facility and the Government of Liberia. 

Project Brief : Liberia (Oct 2013)

The main economic sectors of Liberia, including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, are highly vulnerable to climate variability and change. The agricultural sector contributes over 66% to Liberia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) andover 90% of subsistence farmers are dependent on rain. Recent changes in rainfall patterns have made it increasingly difficult to identify the optimal time to plant crops. The onset and duration of seasonal rainfall is becoming unpredictable, aggravating pest and disease problems.