By Yusufu S. Bangura
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has yesterday organised a one-day national validation workshop on Sierra Leone’s First Biennial Update Report (BUR) to the United Nations Framework Connection on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The validation workshop was held at the Atlantic Hotel, Lumley in Freetown.
Director and Technical Head for EPA, Sheku Mark Kanneh, said the engagement was about validating a document that they have been working on, a report that anchors on the national communications to the UNFCCC , which is produced every two years to indicate their commitment on how they were taking climate action forward.
He added that the report also showed how they were able to communicate those actions they have taken by reducing greenhouse gasses, to ensure they give preference to the country to climate change and what they did to enhance a civil information that they has a country, effort on risk reduction and how they enhance it.
He said the Biennial Update Report is one commitment that has showcased the responsive actions they have taken to reduce foot print in terms of climate change and it’s a continuation of the work done under the national communications submitted to the UNFCCC.
Director Kanneh said the BUR is a crucial document that highlights their national efforts and progress they have made in addressing climate change in order to fulfilling their commitments under the convention.
He continued that during the validation, they targeted different sectors including agriculture, forestry and other land users like waste management within the energy and transport sectors that lead to climate change.
He said the report entails outlining of the national circumstance in terms of climate change, which they have been able to talk about as an institutional arrangement and mechanisms for climate actions by identifying the greenhouse gas sources, among others.
He ended that during the validation they outlined the mitigation measures and actions, mechanism for monitoring reporting and verifications.
“I want to encourage everyone to take action by protecting our environment because during the presentation we talk about the different factors that affect our country through climate change. So, we need to take action and those actions require a multi-stakeholders engagement as relevant sectors within the country need to come together to actual take climate action that will utilize the information provided in the report,” he said.
He said they realised that data availability was a challenge in putting the report to together and encouraged key stakeholders to help them provide data for the next BUR report because that will set the baseline helping them in providing justification on whatever strike or action that they may want to take to solve the country’s climate challenge problem.
While giving overview of the BUR, National Consultant, Alpha Bockarie said the BUR is the country’s audit of what was presented in the 4th national communication as most countries are requested to give update of their sources of greenhouse gas ambition and how they hope to address them.
He continued that from the UNFCCC agreement, they wanted to track progress made from what countries entered in their national communication.
He cited finance as one big challenge they face while putting the report together as the resources given to them was not enough.
He added that they also face challenge with data collection as most MDAs do not have the reboots method of data collection as most important data they need to verify were not available.
He said Sierra Leone has taken a lot of climate actions and commended the government for setting up the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.