On Saturday, October 24, 2009, the Action Against Climate Change (AACC) Liberia held a climate dialogue with youths as well as other development organization in preparation for the Copenhagen climate conference which will commence on December 6, 2009 in Germany.
Speaking during the introduction of the program in the reading room of the Liberia Resource center (LRC), Mr. Yurfee Shaikerlee, Director of AACC, said the change of climate is real, though it may not be felt in Liberia as much as it is in other countries, but there are storms and floods that have devastated many countries around Liberia.
He stressed other climate change effects such as drought and famine which last week compelled Ethiopia to ask food of the United Nations (UN) for about 6.2 million of its citizens.
He further added that the advocacy for climate change is not a new thing, it started since the 90s up to date and it is still our hands and they will go to Copenhagen and tell the world leaders to cut emission.
“We are facing the impact just as other countries, it may not be as severe as theirs, but the conference is coming up in December. There’s going to be a lot of talking with world leaders and organizations and we supposed to be there too. And we will be telling them that we want people to stop heavy pollution,” Shaikerlee said.
He pointed out that if people are adding pollutants to climate change is like shifting a matter from worse to ridiculous.
“We just got through with a case that we’ve been involved with firestone, there’s a community that people have died, that a child was born with one arm and we’ve been into that talking about that pollution.
Climate change, when people are adding to it, is like adding gasoline or anything flammable to cut a fire out and burn the house,” he said.
He said that AACC wants people to stop doing that and urged industrial nations which are heavy pollutants to cut down some of the things that they are doing.
Also addressing the students at the program, Madame Rosemary Ernie, of the society for women empowerment education and training (SWEET), working along side AACC said that climate is one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing or have ever faced.
She said that Liberia like any other country in African country those not bear the causes of climate change because emission is very low in Liberia but the problem is being caused by advance countries like the USA, Japan, China and India among others.
“but we can not sit back and say that because they are the ones causing the problem then we have something to do; we have our part to play. Because even here if we look around our waste management is poor,” Madame Ernie said.
She further said that China and India are shifting blames of the climate change we face today on those industrialized nations during the industrial revolution.
Another speaker, Heather Cannon-Winkelman, doing research in Liberia, said that the Liberian forest have reduce from 90 percent land coverage to less than 50 percent land coverage with in five decades.
She said that this reduction was done because a lot of people have coal pot to cook with so they needed char coal.
“960,000 trees are being cut down every year just for those type purposes. That what is happening,” she said.