Intersecting Technology and Climate Justice in Liberia
Author: Israel Kollie, Monrovia, Liberia
The Monrovia Meetup in collaboration with ISEC Liberia and Power Shift Network hosted a special event on Climate Justice on November 20, 2021 in Monrovia, Liberia. The event was attended by forty-six participants. In the gathering, climate justice and possible solutions for justice were explained to participants. Participants were able to demonstrate that injustices done to the climate have lasting negative impacts on people, especially the very poor people. It was further discussed that industrial nations contribute immensely to climate change. But the very poor and less developing nations pay the cost.
Communities in Liberia, especially in Monrovia, were identified by our two presenters, and the participants attested that said communities are negatively impacted. Some of the communities like West Point, Schiefflin, Bernard’s Farm and other areas across the country have experienced persistent sea erosion and floods over the past four years or more.
All forty-six participants agreed to take the message to their policymakers and business leaders. Information communication technology (ICT) students, who participated in the event, were cautioned to use their tech knowledge to make sure that justice is dispensed for all. Smart climate-friendly information technology (IT) systems that can provide real-time weather data and information to users were recommended.
Every participant of the event went home ably defining climate justice in the simplest terms that even the illiterate can understand. They learned that besides just the condition of the atmosphere alone, injustices such as gender based violence, and clampdown on freedom of expression are all worth advocating for in climate justice campaigns.
Participants promised to begin the awareness in their various social groupings and petition for their legislators to include the indigenous/rural people and slum dwellers in the national decision-making processes. Bottom-top approach was recommended as the best way for policymaking in these times of climate change. As decisions made by affected or would-be affected persons are better made when it comes to the operations of government and mega corporate entities.
The group also agreed to host several interactive gatherings, not only in Monrovia, but also in communities where extractive operations and major deforestation is occurring. It is important that the extraction of certain mineral resources and the cutting down of trees be prohibited in order to meet the goals of the Paris agreement.