By A.B. Dakowa,Information Attache’,Sierra Leone High Commission in Kenya
Prof. Foday M. Jaward has delivered Sierra Leone’s national statement on behalf of His Excellency the President, Rtd. Dr. Julius Maado Bio at the Special Session of UNEP@50 in Nairobi. The Minister conveyed President Bio’s fraternal greetings to His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and delegates present at the Special Session, expressing gratitude to the host country and UNEP for their stewardship and exceptional hospitality.
The Minister referenced the triple planetary crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution and waste.
He highlighted practical steps taken by the Government of Sierra Leone including the establishment of a climate change secretariat within the ministry of environment, developing new legislations that govern the release of air pollutants and the management of plastic and electronic waste, and the initiation of an ambitious four years National Tree Planting programme aimed at planting 5 million trees to help restore 12,750 hectares of degraded land thereby increasing biodiversity and offsetting the carbon release in the country.
Prof. Jaward assured that Sierra Leone remains committed to implementing international agreements and is taking measures towards developing a climate resilient future and urged global leaders to be steadfast in using scientific knowledge about the causes of environmental challenges to inform policy direction.
The Special Session to commemorate UNEP@50 held under the theme “Strengthening UNEP for the Implementation of the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development“ commenced on 3 March 2022, a day after the conclusion of the Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2).
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the official opening of the two-day event, with heads of states including Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana; Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Republic of Nigeria; Philip Mpango, Vice President of the Republic of Tanzania, Felix Moloua, Prime Minister of Central African Republic and Ministers of Environment in attendance.
The event was chaired by Madam Leila Benali, Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development of the Kingdom of Morocco who made her inaugural address as the newly elected President of UNEA.
The Sierra Leone delegation included Madam Isatu Aminata Bundu, High Commissioner to Kenya and Permanent
Representative to UNEP, Dr. Bondi Gevao, Executive Chairman of the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone, Mr. Lahai Samba Keita, Ag. Director of Environment, Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Mrs Amie Buck, First Secretary at the High Commission.