Somebody might have briefed the President with conflicting Environmental Performance Index Report

By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya

The President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Julius Maada Bio is seemingly putting more premium on the environment. This is manifested in the Manifesto of the New Direction of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party government and couple up with recent remarks the President had made in the country.

During the recent state opening of the fifth Parliament of the fifth republic of Sierra Leone, President Julius Maada Bio said “Sierra Leone is presently ranked at the bottom of the Environmental Performance Index, 163 out of 163 countries in 2010, indicating phenomenal regression since the end of the civil war”. This may have been a wrong EPI report deliberately briefed to the President in other to misinform him about the present state of the Sierra Leonean environment.

Somebody might have briefed the President with conflicting Environmental Performance Report

According to the present 2018 Environmental Performance Index ranking, Sierra Leone stands at 155 out of 180 countries that were ranked by the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network. It also shows an Environmental Performance Index score of 42.54, an Environmental Health grade of 41.80 and an Ecosystem Vitality of 43.03 with an overall regional standing of 29.

In 2010, the same Yale University Environmental Performance Index ranked Sierra Leone with an overall score of 19.21and a ranking of 175. But instead of properly informing the President or giving him clear and current update of the status of the country on the environment, a wrong Environmental Performance Index report was given to announce to announce during the Sate Opening of Parliament and cause an international embarrassment.

Even in the Yale University 2014 Environmental Performance Index, Sierra Leone was not rated at the top bottom as stated in Parliament by the President. Sierra Leone with 173 rankings tops five countries in ranking thereby beating countries like Afghanistan (174),  Lesotho (175), Haiti (176),   Mali (177) and Somalia (178 ).

The 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across ten issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality. These metrics provide a gauge at a national scale of how close countries are to establish environmental policy goals. The EPI thus offers a scorecard that highlights leaders and laggards in environmental performance, gives insight on best practices, and provides guidance for countries that aspire to be leaders in sustainability.

The 2018 Environmental Performance Index is a Global metrics for the environment that ranks country’s performance on high-priority environmental issues.

It is the official environmental ranking around the world recognized by the United Nations including the United Nations Environment Programme. It is being undertaken by the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, Yale University, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum with support from The McCall MacBain Foundation and Mark T. DeAngelis.

With 20 years of experience, the EPI reveals a tension between two fundamental dimensions of sustainable development: (1) environmental health, which rises with economic growth and prosperity, and (2) ecosystem vitality, which comes under strain from industrialization and urbanization.

The 2018 EPI Framework organizes 24 indicators into ten issue categories and two policy objectives. The overall EPI rankings “indicate which countries are doing best against the array of environmental pressures that every nation faces. From a policy perspective, greater value derives from drilling down into the data to analyze performance by specific issue, policy category, peer group, and country. Such an analysis can assist in refining policy choices, understanding the determinants of environmental progress, and maximizing the return on governmental investments”.

In contrast, from the present status ranking Sierra Leone is (155), it has emerged that the country had made a massive jump of 25 points from the 180 countries rated as of 2018. Again, the 2014 Environmental Performance Index which Sierra Leone was rated at 173 out of the 178 countries, shows that there was an improvement of 5 points after beating the five countries it topped.

As a matter of fact, we are in the year 2018 but instead of dealing with the current Environmental Performance Index report of 2018, those who are at the helm of giving the President the environment information to deliver in Parliament deliberately ignored the recent 2018 report and instead preferred to deal with a 2010 EPI report. Even with the 2010 EPI report, the right information and rating was not properly cited. The 2010 showed that Sierra Leone was rated 173 overall Ranking out of 178 and not 163 out of 163 as claimed by a speech of the President. Whether the wrong information was given to the President or not with the aim to discredit someone somewhere, only time will tell.



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