The Sierra Leone National Adaptation Plan Framework: An assiduous efforts by the Environment Protection Agency and Partners

By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya

The National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Framework for Sierra Leone has been developed and a comprehensive report produced by both the local and international Consultants of the document. The document which involved the dedicated efforts of stakeholders in the country was produced for the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone by Alexandre Borde (international Consultant and Reynold Johnson as local Consultant. The authors in their note “thank all consulted stakeholders for their invaluable contributions to the development of this document, with particular thanks for Veronica Koroma, Tamba Emmanuel Nyaka, Abdul Salim, Momodu Alrashid Bah and Alec Crawford”.

The NAP Framework was developed through the United States In-Country National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Support Program in Sierra Leone, which is implemented by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), host to the NAP Global Network Secretariat.

In his forward message to the document, the Executive Chairman of the Environment Protection Agency in Sierra Leone, Dr. Foday Moriba Jaward  said “adaptation to climate change is becoming a routine and necessary component of planning at all levels” adding that “at its seventeenth session, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) acknowledged that national adaptation planning can enable all developing and least developed country (LDC) Parties like Sierra Leone, to assess their vulnerabilities, to mainstream climate change risks and to address adaptation”.

His forward message further reads that “the COP also acknowledged that, because of their development status, climate change risks

magnify development challenges for LDCs, and recognized the need to address adaptation planning in the broader context of sustainable development planning”. According to Dr. Jaward, the National Adaptation Plan Framework (NAPF) for Sierra Leone has been prepared by the EPA-SL with support from IISD, as a response to these acknowledgements of COP 7 and if of the strong view that the National Adaptation Plan Framework (NAPF) for Sierra Leone will provide the framework for the development of the actual National Adaptation Plan in tandem with the New Direction National Sustainable Development agenda (2019-2023).

Dr. Jaward reiterated that the NAPF will also help to set the structure and processes that will be necessary to develop the National

Adaptation Plan for Sierra Leone that will be inclusive, detailed and country driven and hence assist in increasing our resilience and reduce our vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. He said in developing the NAP Framework, relevant stakeholders from government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) including Civil Society organization, Academia and the international

community were consulted adding that the NAP framework was also aligned with the current National Development Agenda (2012-2018) and take cognizance of the National Development Plan (2019-2023) that is currently being developed. He added that the national climate change documents and studies were also consulted.

The framework provides insight to help formulate and implement the NAP, which itself serves to implement the adaptation component of the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP). The aim of the Sierra Leone NAP Framework is to identify and present objectives, principles,

approaches and structures that would lay down the basis for the NAP process in Sierra Leone. It also aims to identify medium- and long-term adaptation needs, while developing and implementing strategies and programs to address these needs. It ensures that the NAP is aligned with existing policies, plans and strategies and does not contribute to the proliferation of planning processes and related documents.

The NAP Framework sets out the approaches and principles that will underpin how the NAP is implemented. It also sets out the institutional arrangements that will guide the formulation and coordination of efforts to implement the NAP and thus steer the national process over the long term. In addition, it proposes some initial efforts to further the NAP process. However, it does not itself constitute an action plan, which would require more activities and wider consultation.

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.

Adaptation planning in Sierra Leone has similarities with planning efforts related to natural resource management and development, and the NAP process will attempt to complement and build upon these processes and past initiatives. This process will be coordinated on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA-SL). The framework will help develop the structures and processes necessary to conduct the NAP in an inclusive and comprehensive manner specific to the Sierra Leone context.

According to the developers of the Document, the NAP Framework was developed through a participatory and inclusive process where “the initial phase of its development included an extensive review of the existing literature on climate change adaptation planning in Sierra Leone (both at the national and sub-national levels), and the mapping of key stakeholders that needed to be involved in the NAP process. An interview guide was then developed, followed by face-to-face and written consultations with approximately 30 key stakeholders, including the private sector. These consultations were held in order to understand and raise awareness of the benefits of the NAP process; ensure alignment with existing policies, programs and activities in planning processes, identify key issues for climate adaptation planning in Sierra Leone, develop an institutional structure for the management of the NAP process, make the NAP process more inclusive and continually adjust the NAP Framework in response to stakeholder feedback.

However, the Sierra Leone’s NAP Framework aims to set objectives for and determine the principles, approaches and structure of the NAP process for the country. The NAP Framework identifies medium- and long term adaptation needs in consultation with relevant stakeholders. It seeks to set a foundation for developing—or complementing and further implementing—strategies and programs to address these needs. It ensures that the NAP is aligned with existing policies, plans and strategies relating to climate change adaptation, and does not contribute to the proliferation of planning processes and related documents. It explores and highlights key opportunities and challenges associated

with the NAP process at the local, national and global levels, and synthesizes information relevant for the currently implemented programs and strategies.

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