Environment Minister advocates for inclusive environmental solutions at UNEA-6 in Kenya

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2009

By A.B.Dakowa,Information Attache’,Sierra Leone High Commission

The High – Level Segment of the Sixth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) held on February 29th, 2024, witnessed a gathering of global leaders, dignitaries, environmental experts and civil society actors, all convened to address pressing environmental issues. Amidst the inspirational speeches from prominent figures like the President of UNEA-6, Her Excellency Leila Benali, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization His Excellency Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, one voice that stood out – was that of His Excellency William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, who emphasized the urgent need for collective action on climate change and environmental disasters through unwavering states’ commitment and multilateral cooperation.

Joined by his counterparts from the various nations including the President of Djibouti, HIs Excellency Omar Gulleh, the Transitional President of Gabon, His Excellency  Brice Njuema, the President of Somalia, His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of Botswana, His Excellency Mokgweestsi Masisi, the Prime Minister of Haiti, His Excellency Ariel Henry; President Ruto referenced the Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change and underscored the gravity of threats posed by pollution, biodiversity loss, climate change, insecurity, and poverty. This was followed by national statements from representatives of the various member states that were present. Among the distinguished delegates was Mr. Jiwoh Emmanuel Abdulai, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change of the Republic of Sierra Leone, whose poignant remarks echoed the sentiments of shared responsibility and inclusive action.

In his address, Minister Abdulai conveyed fraternal greetings from His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio and extended sincere appreciation to the host nation, Kenya, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for facilitating the conference. He emphasized Sierra Leone’s alignment with African and Group of 77 and China statements, highlighting the pivotal role of multilateralism in addressing complex global challenges.

Drawing attention to Sierra Leone’s vulnerability to environmental crises, Minister Abdulai outlined the nation’s commitment to inclusive green growth as outlined in its Medium-Term National Development Plan (2024-2030). He spotlighted the Upper Guinean Forests, a vital biodiversity hotspot in West Africa facing imminent threats, and proposed a national ecosystem restoration program aimed at transforming local economies while safeguarding precious natural assets.

Minister Abdulai also emphasized the importance of leveraging bilateral and multilateral partnerships to ensure the success of Sierra Leone’s restoration efforts. In conclusion, he reaffirmed the government’s dedication to environmental multilateralism and cooperation, echoing the sentiment shared by global leaders at UNEA-6.

As the world grapples with unprecedented environmental challenges, the voices of leaders like Minister Abdulai underscores the urgency of collaborative and inclusive action. Through concerted efforts and shared commitment, the global community can strive towards a sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.

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