The Environment Protection Agency –Sierra Leone (EPA-SL) in collaboration with line ministries has on Thursday 20th August 2015 organized a National validation on it FIRST ever State of the Environment Report for Sierra Leone, at the Hub Hotel Wilberforce, Freetown.
With financial support from the UNDP and the EU, the objective of the workshop was to offer an opportunity for all stakeholders to review and make necessary contributions to the report.
In his welcome statement, the chairman of the programme, Andrew K Keili said the State of the Environment Report for Sierra Leone is important and would enable the public to access accurate and up-to-date information on the state of the country’s environment. He said it was important that participants make salient contributions in the report which would determine the future of the country’s environment.
|From Left: EPA-SL’s Haddijatou Jallow, Andrew Kallie, Suliaman Zainu & UNDP’s Sudipto Mukerjee
The Country Director of UNDP Sudipto Mukerjee said in his statement that the State of the Environment Report for Sierra Leone is the first and also a crucial step in improving environmental sustainability. He said lack of data and monitoring are among the environmental challenges Sierra Leone faced, but that with support from the UNDP, UNEP, EU and other partners, the EPA-SL is gradually improving in these areas.
The UNDP country Director commended the EPA-SL for its substantial progress in environmental monitoring by establishing a centralized Geographic Information System (GIS) database with support from Columbia University and UNDP. He said the GIS database is a very exciting and important tool that allows one to monitor changes and visualize them over time. He called on the EPA-SL to link their GIS Database closely with the State of the Environment Report electronically.
In her keynote address, the Executive Chairperson of the Environment Protection Agency-Sierra Leone Mrs. Hadijjatou Jallow expressed appreciation to all partners for the hard work in preparing the report and special thanks to the EU and UNDP for their financial support. She said the State of the Environment Report presents a picture of the condition of the natural resources of Sierra Leone, and a source of timely and relevant environmental information and knowledge for the general public. “The report also highlights our vulnerability to an environment that is changing more rapidly than ever before”, Mrs. Jallow said.
The State of the Environment Report is set to answer questions pertaining the current status of the country’s environment, the likely consequences for the environment and humanity if the trends continue and what alternative courses of action might be pursued.
The report is expected to elaborate on actions that could be taken to improve on current performances and chart a more sustainable future.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.