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Environment Protection Agency and Partners facilitates the validation of the National Adaptation Plan Framework in Sierra Leone

The Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone with the support and funding from the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network, the United States Assistance for International Development (USAID) and the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) had played a key role towards the validation of a national document on the adaptation plan framework in Sierra Leone. The validation of the Sierra Leone’s national Adaptation plan was organized at the Golden Tulip Kimbima Hotel in Freetown on the 15th of November 2018 with the presence of environmental stakeholders and Government functionaries.

The Sierra Leone’s NAP process will be a country-driven and contextually-defined vehicle that will seek to prepare institutional coordination around adaptation, accelerate resource mobilization for adaptation and deliver effective and sustainable adaptation outcomes for sierra Leone.

The Senior Environment Officer at the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone, Tamba Emmanuel Nyaka said the National Adaptation Plan process was established under the Cancun Adaptation Framework which enables parties to formulate and implement NAPs as a means of identifying medium and long-term adaptation needs and developing and implementing strategies and programme to address those needs.

He said it is a continuous, progressive and iterative that follows a country driven approach, gender sensitive, participatory and fully transparent approach with a whole essence to reduce vulnerability to impacts on climate change by building resilience, and also to ensure integration into national and sectorial development plans.

Mr. Tamba noted that the “U.S. Government’s State department is investing in a program of technical support for Sierra Leone’s National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process through GNP implemented by International Institute for Sustainable Development(IISD) and the program is part of a multi-country initiative designed to fill identified capacity gaps in order to facilitate NAP development and implementation”.

He said earlier this year, the IISD in collaboration with the EPA-SL recruited one local consultant and an international consultant to work on the development of a NAP Framework for Sierra Leone which will serve as the country guide in developing the National Adaptation Plan incorporating all relevant sectors to address the country’s medium and long-term adaptation needs.

In his presentation during the validation process, the international Consultant, Alexander Borde said the aim of the National Adaptation Plan Framework is to identify and present objectives, principles approaches, structure which would lay down the basis for the NAP process in the context of Sierra Leone. He also added that it will identify medium and long-term adaptation needs to develop and implement strategies and programmes to address these needs.

The Director of the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone, Momodu Alrashid Bah on behalf of the Executive Chairman and management of his Agency welcomed the participants for gracing the validation process and reiterated the fact that Climate Change is an additional stress to the economy of the country. He said “it is well recognized that Climate Change poses a major threat to our country due to the Climate sensitivity of the economy, high exposure to Climate Change disasters and limited capacity to adapt”.  He added that “if this is not addressed, Climate Change will definitely undermine and reverse our development gains and will continue to cause stress for life and property”.

According to Director Bah, Climate Change is an additional stress on the economy that is greatly. Dependent on natural resources and on fragile ecosystems that already suffer from frequent flooding and mudslides adding that agricultural and fishery productivity will be diminished by changing climate. He also maintained that “our people are already vulnerable to impacts of Climate Change as it is evident from the floods and mudslides that occurred at Motormeh, Regent, Kaningo, Kroobay, Susan’s Bay and other informal settlements along our hills and coastal areas”.

The EPASL Director further stated that in response to international commitments and national needs for Climate Change Adaptation, the Government of Sierra Leone through the Environment Protection Agency and in consultation with relevant stakeholders is undertaking its National Adaptation plan framework. The framework he said will provide insight to formulate and implement the National Adaptation Plan which itself serves to implement the adaptation component of the new national Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Action Plan.

He stressed that the aim of the Sierra Leone’s NAP framework is to identify and present objectives, principles, approaches and structure which would lay down the basis for the NAP process and its implementation in the context of Sierra Leone. It also aims to identify medium and long-term adaptation needs as well as develop and implement strategies and programmes to address these needs.

Mr. Bah further mentioned that the NAP framework also sets out the institutional arrangements which will guide the formulation and coordination of efforts to implement the NAP and thus steer the national process over the long term. He also took the opportunity to thank the NAP Global Network, USAID and the International Institute of Sustainable development for the invaluable support given to Sierra Leone to develop its NAP framework adding that this support is being provided with keen desire of Sierra Leone to enhance national adaptation planning through the integration of Climate Change adaptation in coherent manner into relevant new and existing policies, plans and programmes, development planning processes and strategies within all relevant sectors and at different levels as appropriate in Sierra Leone.

By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya

 

 

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