July 13, 2018
By Sahr Morris Jnr
The National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone (NOC-SLE), together with the Sustainability and Legacy Commission on Environment Awareness on Thursday, July 12, ended a two-day Environmental Awareness Seminar hosted at the Siaka Steven stadium Atlantic Hall in Freetown.
The two-day workshop aimed towards moving away from theory and concepts to practical initiatives and behavioral changes.
It was also meant to help participants with better and current knowledge on environmental and sustainability issues related to the world of sports.
According to the president of NOC-SLE, Dr. Patrick Coker, recognizing the responsibility to promote sustainable development, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) considers the environment as an integral dimension of Olympism alongside sports and culture.
He said: “The NOC hopes that participants would have been motivated to take actions on environmental issues, learned how to apply these precepts in the organization of sports events.”
Meanwhile, the open day session saw participants engaged by officials from Forestry on deforestation and land degradation and its impact on the environment. Also, officials from the country’s Environment Protection Agency (EPA) handled issues surrounding climate change, global warming, national resources depletion and biodiversity loss in Sierra Leone.
The NOC-SLE Secretary General, Joseph Nyande, was in full control of the issue, sports, and the environment, while the Office of National Security took participants through disasters risk reduction and management.
Also treated on day two were issues like promoting environmental education and awareness with the use of information and communication strategies in addressing environmental issues and risk.
Furthermore, environmental pollution, waste management, and the combat of plastic pollution were also looked.
Group’s discussions on sustainability in sports to develop a framework policy were also staged. Participants were also engaged in several brainstorming issues.
After the group discussion, participants admitted that there was indeed need for the use of sports to raise awareness on environmental issues.
For George Wyndham, one of the participants, awareness should be raised through sporting activities.
He said activities like a door-to-door campaign; schools sports, and community sporting events will further help in the campaign to spread the message.
He said: “Sporting disciplines should be engaged in this type of awareness raising. Also, it is important to engage sports celebrities who will help spread the message of climate change and guide to avoid such.”
An official presentation of certificates climaxed the two day’s workshop.