The Environment Protection Agency, on Wednesday 12 April, 2017, began a validation process at the New Brookfields Hotel. A large group of environmental stakeholders met to review the project, “Adapting to climate change induced coastal risks and management in Sierra Leone”.
The project is one of the instruments for implementing the adaptation priorities aimed at strengthening the ability of coastal communities to manage climate change risks and impacts on physical infrastructures and livelihoods. It’s also meant to strengthen governing institutions and community resilience to climate change impacts. This project was presented by UNDP on behalf of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).
The project amount is $9,975,000 USD and expected co-financing of $31,990,000 USD is a Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the Least Development Countries Fund (LDCF), which was approved in October 2015. It is a five year project.
Country Director of UNDP, who are the GEF Agency, Samuel Doe, said, “Climate change affects people in many ways and this includes imposed shifts in livelihood, shifts in the way of life, shifts in the way the people understand their environment, the way they fend for themselves and the way they interact with natural assets.”
He said, “This forces all of us to begin to think about what is required to adapt, what is required to be more resilient”.
Doe said, “It is incumbent upon us in this time and space to learn how to adapt to these realities but most importantly to learn how to prevent and mitigate the rapid changes that is taking place in the climate”.
About the project, the UNDP Country Director said, “This is the opportunity to reflect, put resources together and act on this collective cause. This project is about Sierra Leone, it is about its coast, about ensuring that the people along the coast don’t go further down into the abyss of the indignity of poverty that is imposed when you have these natural resources eroded by climate change. The vision this should be about the country, the people and their livelihood, its existence and the regime shift”.
Executive Chairperson of EPA, Haddijatou Jallow, said, “This project seeks to minimise the impact of climate change. Climate change has both practical needs and moral imperatives and this is why the project will focus on adaptation to climate change risk and impacts and put in place adaptive measures”.
Jallow maintained that Sierra Leone is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change.
The EPA has tried to “integrate adaptation to climate change national coastal zone management plans and programmes in order to address vulnerability. The extreme weather conditions, caused by climate change, brings untold hardship to our people. At the very conception of this project, we had aimed at a more harmonised national action focusing on the diverse adaptation priorities”.
By Betty Milton
Thursday April 13, 2017.