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Sierra Leone Business: NPAA, partners discuss revenue sharing policy

There are over 40 protected areas in Sierra Leone. 15 of these have been designated to be under the National Protected Area Authority (NPAA). These Protected Areas (PAs) have so many benefits among which are the monies derived, the social relationship and the traditional understanding of the laws protecting the areas says Nana Pratt, Chairperson of the NPAA.
This body is responsible for the promotion of biodiversity conservation of flora and fauna, protection of national parks and protected areas, wildlife management and to promote research as well as the sale of ecosystem services.
Apart from serving as touristic sites, these areas also can be used for generating revenue through carbon collection, gate taking among others.
Benefits derived are sometimes not enjoyed by communities surrounding the PAs. This in turn limits their interest in caring for and protecting the biodiversity of these areas.
On Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th November 2017 the NPAA met with communities proximate to these protected areas to develop a legal policy and regulatory framework that will support revenue sharing within protected area communities.
This will expose realistic economic benefit to communities living proximate to PAs and strengthen NPAA and government rapport with these communities.
According to the Legal Consultant for the development of the document, Audrey Williams, it was important to share benefits because it serves as a means of encouraging and facilitating the management of protected areas. Williams said there is currently no written document pertaining to benefit sharing although there have been regulations used by local chiefdom councils. If this law is approved, it will be the first written legal document governing revenue sharing in the PAs.
William said with the document, they have spelt out the roles and responsibility ministries, departments and agencies, and the communities as well as how the benefits will be apportioned amongst the communities and the government.
At the end of the deliberation, participants agreed that 70% of the revenue collected from the PAs should be given to the communities while 30% should be given to the NPAA.
By Edna Smalle
Monday December 4, 2017.

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