Liberia: EPA, UNDP & Partners Hold Capacity Enhancement Workshop For community Structures To Improve Biodiversity Awareness In The Lake Piso Multiple Nature Reserve & Gola National Park

ROBERTSPORT, Grand Cape Mount — The Environmental Protection Agency EPA, through its Energy and Environment Unit, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program(UNDP), has begun a three-day workshop focusing on community structure for biodiversity conservation in the Lake Piso Multiple Nature Reserve and the Gola National Park for improved biodiversity conservation and environmental awareness.

Lake Piso is the largest lake in Liberia and contains marine resources that are essential to food security in the country.

However, these marine resources can’t be beneficial to the citizens when the biodiversity that keeps them alive and enables them to multiply cannot be protected, says Deputy Executive Director of the EPA, Randolph M. Dobayou.

Speaking at the start of the workshop in Robertsport, Mr. Dobayou noted that building an environmentally friendly structure would help the EPA achieve its adaptive plan.

He said the building of a community structure in an environmentally sensitive manner will enable citizens to protect the environment from degradation.

“I am hoping we can enlighten the community as well because when we train their foresters and experts and they to you the community while you have limited knowledge what we do will not be appreciated,” Mr. Dobayou said.

The EPA Deputy Executive Director said training of such for the community is cardinal, admonishing community dwellers against resisting what experts in the biodiversity sectors offer them. He said: “It will equally enable the community to safeguard natural reserves in the country.”

He further emphasized the need to always keep the ocean and lakes clean, so that habitats there can be able to multiply sufficiently for needed benefit toward the community.

Additionally, Dobayou informed participants that mangroves are important to biodiversity and have a positive impact on the lives of marine resources, including fish.

“Most of these mangroves have serious livelihood benefits. They help to fight sea erosion and that depleting them would affect the livelihood of fish,” Dobayou maintained.

He also stressed the importance of how the mangrove help to absorb greenhouse gases besides the breeding of fish.

At the same time, Mr. Dobayou praised Grand Cape Mount County for proving to know the value of the training that was provided to them some times ago.

He added that the training was under a project titled, ‘Eco-Brigade’ and it resulted in Grand Cape Mount County has proven the need to extend it to other counties.

For his part, a representative of the UNDP Energy and Environment Program, Moses Massah noted that the issue of biodiversity is at the heart of UNDP, adding that it is upon this backdrop that they have been working with the government for a long period in said sector.

Massah noted that several threats are being identified towards biodiversity, which continue to affect both plants and animals.

Among these threats, he named shifting cultivation and the burning of charcoal as major hazards that need to be curtailed.

However, he said the preservation of protected areas including Lake Piso and the Gola National Reserve is also crucial.

Michael Garbo of the Society for the Conservation of Nature Liberia (SCNL), also encouraged participants at the three-day workshop to get involved in protecting biodiversity by rallying with locals to preserve nature in the country.

Garbo maintained: “It is good to discuss what is good for Liberia and that is why SCNL is involved with this.”

Meanwhile, providing an objective of the training, the Coordinator of Government and UNDP Energy and Environment Program, Salimatu Lamin-Gilayeneh, noted that at the end of the sessions, participants are expected to become agents of change in preserving biodiversity in their various communities, owing to the knowledge being provided on the protection and management of biodiversity sustainably.

Meanwhile, the training brought together participants from across the country and is expected to end on Friday, April 8.

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