Vacancy for Manager of the Geographic Information System (GIS) Unit

The Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone (EPA-SL) is the regulatory Agency charged with the responsibility to provide for the effective protection of the environment and for other related matters.

The EPA-SL continues to grow and is seeking to employ a Manager of the Geographic Information System (GIS) Unit to meet the challenges of environmental management

Job Duties/Responsibilities

  • Design and create maps and graphics;
  • Develop, update and maintain GIS databases using various mathematic techniques;
  • Provide technical support to professional planning staff of the Environment Protection Agency in the day-to-day performance of duties;
  • Train staff and perform troubleshoot on various GIS applications and prepare data for all geospatial processes and applications;
  • Use of ESRI software, such as ArcInfo and ArcView and other geographic analysis tools;
  • Integrate various forms of geographical and non-geographical data such as land use and characteristics etc.
  • Assist the planning staff by providing cartographic information and graphics for reports, presentations, grant applications, and news articles;
  • Operate peripheral devices such as GPS, plotters, printers, digital cameras, and scanners;
  • Plan various GIS plans and activities and provide support to all cross functional team and prepare various procedures for all GIS operations according to required policies and procedures;
  • Develop time schedules and evaluate all specifications for GIS development and establish all mapping requirements to develop various processes and applications;
  • Collaborate with various departments to prepare update on all GIS databases and equipment and ensure completion of all work within required timeframe;
  • Coordinate requests over the phone and in person for maps or other materials;
  • Perform routine maintenance of multiple databases;
  • Manages internet mapping service administration;
  • Gather and verify filed data for utilization in mapping applications;
  • Oversee GIS supply inventory and ensure optimal use of all resources and provide transitional training to all employees.
  • Attend meetings, and assist with various miscellaneous projects, as needed;
  • Perform any other duties as assigned.

Qualification and Experience Requirements

Candidates must possess:

  • Master’s in Geography, Geomatics’ Engineering or GIS related discipline plus a minimum of five years’ demonstrated experience in GIS or any combination of education and experience that would provide the desired skills, knowledge and ability to perform the job.

OR Bachelor’s degree in the above stated disciplines in lieu of a Master’s degree, plus a minimum of eight years’ demonstrated experience in GIS or any combination of education and experience that would provide the desired skills, knowledge and ability to perform the job.

  • Advanced knowledge of current versions of Windows, MS Access, MS Office, ESRI software (ArcInfo and ArcView), GRASS GIS, QUANTUM GIS, TNTMips etc. and database development is essential.
  • Ability to interpret aerial photographs, transfer and/or rescale them to geographic maps.
  • Analytical and the ability to apply GIS knowledge to solve complex problems.
  • Must be able to work on multiple projects and meet deadlines.

Skills/Abilities:

  • Proficient oral and written communication skills in English
  • Community leadership and mentoring skills: able to support, motivate and liaise effectively with villagers and community groups
  • Sound cross-cultural, gender-awareness, interpersonal and networking skills
  • Sound knowledge and understanding of climate change and environmental management issues relevant to Sierra Leone
  • Proven ability and experience in workshop facilitation and giving presentations in both formal and non-formal settings
  • Proven ability to develop training programs and lesson plans
  • Proven ability to write reports, develop budgets and prepare proposals
  • Excellent organization and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently and lead a team.

Demonstrated Experience and Competence

  • Professionalism: Accountability for goals and challenges and a fair knowledge in management, planning and monitoring and evaluation. Efficient in observing deadlines and achieving results;.
  • Communication: Effective and distinct communication ability with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Leadership: Proven track record of managerial/leadership skills; Serve as a role model; empower others to translate vision into results; proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives.
  • Integrity, Respect for Diversity – High level of Integrity: Must be honest, sincere and trustworthy and can demonstrate the core values of EPA-SL at all times

 Salary: Attractive

Method of Application

Interested candidates should forward their application indicating position applied for on the top right hand corner of a sealed envelope together with credentials and updated curriculum vitae, including the names and addresses of three (3) referees, including your most recent employer to:

 Assistant Director Human Resources

Environment Protection Agency – Sierra Leone

92, Dundas Street

Freetown

Electronic applications may be forwarded to info@epa.gov.sl

WOMEN ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.

 CLOSING DATE: 5th March 2021.

The Environment Protection Agency does not harass Artisanal Miners but want responsible Mining activities in Sierra Leone

The attention of the Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone (EPASL) has been drawn to an erroneous and maliciously conceived publication making the rounds on social media that EPASL staff are harassing people engaged in what the publication refers to as “Mini Mining activities”, otherwise known as artisanal mining, within Bo district. The publication further alleges that EPASL staff have been arresting these so-called artisanal miners, taking them to police stations and forcing them to pay fines.

The EPASL wishes it to be known that the said publication is false, ill motivated and a deliberate ploy to bring the good name of the Agency into disrepute. We therefore urge the general public to treat the contents of the publication as preposterous and without any foundation.

Furthermore, the allegation that the EPASL has been sent by government to harass the people and deprive them of their living couldn’t have been more ludicrous. It goes without saying that the government of His Excellency the President, Rtd Brigadier Dr. Julius Maada Bio attaches great importance to environmental safety and the right of Sierra Leoneans to live in a safe environment.

Artisanal mining activities in Sierra Leone are recognized by government but they are not without conditions. Some of the legally enshrined conditions for artisanal mining in Sierra Leone are that only Sierra Leoneans are allowed to engage in the practice and that mining should be carried out without heavy equipment like excavators and bulldozers. In other words, artisanal mining, for which licenses are granted by the Mines and Minerals Agency, is restricted to Sierra Leoneans and must only be done using light equipment like shovels, cutlasses and pickaxes.

The EPASL has found out, during the course of its environmental monitoring, that certain individuals are engaged in mining activities in various parts of the country using heavy equipment and without licenses. Where these heavy equipment are used, the practice can no longer be referred to as artisanal mining or “Mini Mining”. The EPASL has also found in some instances that foreigners are engaged in large scale mining activities under the guise of artisanal mining. It is certainly a violation of the EPA Act of 2008 when mining is conducted in this manner without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) license for which perpetrators could incur various kinds of lawful punishment ranging from fines to jail terms, or in extreme cases, to both fine and imprisonment.

 

What is also troubling is the fact that some of these mining activities are carried out with little or no regard for their ramifications on the health and social wellbeing of communities whose livelihoods are dependent on rivers and other watercourses by way of fishing and agricultural activities. Another thing that is of grave concern to the EPASL is that some of these mining activities involve the use of mercury, which is an internationally banned hazardous substance under the Minamata Convention to which Sierra Leone is a party.

In light of the forgoing, the EPASL wishes to admonish the general public to desist from any activities that pose a danger to the environment and, more importantly, to the wellbeing of the people of Sierra Leone. The EPASL further entreats the public to report any activities that appear to be threatening to the environment of Sierra Leone. Let’s join hands together to protect our environment for the benefit of our country’s development.

 

For more information, please contact the Public Relations and Intersectoral Collaboration Directorate of the EPASL, or call us on +23276787521.

 

Signed,

Mr. Salihoe Saidu

Deputy Director

Public Relations and Intersectoral Collaboration Directorate

For non-compliance with Environmental Laws: EPA-SL wins case against Kabakudu Soap Industry in Bo

The Environment Protection Agency has, on the 7th of August 2020, won a landmark case that was brought before Magistrate Santigie Bangura at the Magistrate Court No. 2 in the Southern city of Bo and represented by the Agency’s Legal and Compliance Team. In total, eleven individuals were arraigned before the Magistrate and all pleaded guilty to the charges under the Environment Protection Agency Act.

The matter concerned illegal operations that have been ongoing within the city of Bo involving the production of local soap called “kabakudu” without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Licence. The Kabakudu Soap is locally produced from sodium hydrochloride which has significant health risks on human beings and the environment. The production of this local soap was being carried out in a manner that was harmful to human health as well as the environment and has been ongoing for several years despite series of attempts by the EPASL to have the manufacturers comply with the EPA Act of 2008. All kabakudu Processing centers were situated within residential areas thereby exposing residents to air pollution due to open burning of palm oil, oil spillage and the release of toxic and hazardous substances.

The workers in these Kabakudu manufacturing centers operate under circumstances that render them so prone to a lot of health hazards like skin cancer, lung diseases, impotency etc. A good number of residents in Bo rely on borehole water courses to carry out their domestic activities. These borehole water courses have been polluted (many now unusable) due to the toxic chemicals used in the production process. Ecologically, the activities of this so-called soap manufacturing industry also posed significant risks to wetlands which are targeted as dump sites thereby putting at risk the ecosystem in that part of the country, leading to biodiversity loss and drastic reduction of essential ecosystem services.

Among other things, the discharge of noxious waste into the environment was a key feature of the operations of the Kabakudu production which, in itself, was a violation under Sec 58(5) of the EPA Act which states that “The discharge of any toxic and hazardous substance into the air or in, or under the land and waters of sierra Leone is prohibited”.

Sec 23(1) of the EPA Act provides that “notwithstanding the provisions of any enactment, no person shall undertake or cause to be undertaken any of the projects set out in the First Schedule unless he holds a valid licence in respect of such project”. The First Schedule to the EPA Act provides a list of activities, including those for which the accused persons were charged, which require a company or person engaged in such acts to acquire an EIA licence as a condition precedent. In other words, the acquisition of an EIA licence must predate the commencement of activities for which the licence is being sought. Sec 24(1) of the Act is very instructive on this and it states that “Any person who wishes to undertake or cause to be undertaken any of the projects set out in the First Schedule shall apply to the Agency for a licence”.

Sec 23(2) of the Act states in no uncertain terms that any person who contravenes Sec 23(1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty five million leones in the case of a citizen of Sierra Leone and ten thousand United States dollars in the case of a non-citizen or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years or to both the fine and imprisonment.

The importance of obtaining an EIA licence cannot be underestimated. The EIA itself is a useful tool that is used in the assessment and regulation of activities impacting on the environment. It guides the Agency in determining which activities merit a licence and which do not; all being done in the interest of protecting the environment.

Mindful of the provisions of the EPA Act and cognizant of the health and environmental hazards that were occasioned by this Kabakudu production industry in Bo city, and having tried without success to ban the activity by way of enforcement notices and other lawful means, the Executive Chairman of the Agency, Dr. Bondi Gevao, was left with no option but to cause an action to be instituted in court against these defaulters.

All eleven accused were sentenced to fines ranging from one million five hundred thousand leones to two million leones to be paid on or before the 2nd of September 2020, failing which they must serve a prison term of eighteen months each.

The court further ordered that that the accused persons relocate their operations to a location outside the municipality of Bo; stop all operations involving the production of Kabakudu until the business owners of this illegal activity have secured an Environmental Impact Assessment License. The convicts were also ordered to clean up the waste that had been generated by their operations on or before the 15th September 2020 and that such a clean-up exercise is to be supervised by the Environment Protection Agency and the Sierra Leone Police.

Prior to the commencement of these proceedings, the eleven accused persons had been arrested for violating a communiqué that was jointly issued by relevant authorities including the Paramount chief of Kakua Chiefdom, the Bo City Council, the Bo District Medical Officer, and the Environment Protection Agency at a strategic environmental disaster meeting summoned by the Bo City Council on the 17th July 2020. This was after a letter was written by both the Ministry of Environment and the Executive Chairman of the Environment Protection Agency to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development seeking his intervention to help address serious environmental hazards in the municipality of Bo.

The letter by the Minister of Environment and the EPA Executive Chairman resulted in a provincial security meeting that was convened in Bo and attended by the Honorable Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ambassador Tamba Lamina, the Executive Chairman EPA, Dr. Bondi Gevao, Bo City Council, Bo District Council, the Office of National Security, the Military, Sierra Leone Police and representatives from Civil Society organizations on the 23rd July 2020. It was resolved in this meeting that the production of Kabakudu soap within the Bo Municipality must stop with immediate effect and that the Sierra Leone Police was to enforce such a decision.

All of these engagements were done to secure a credible solution out of this impasse. The failure on the part of the kabakudu producers to abide by the contents and spirit of the joint communiqué was the last straw that brought about the above mentioned court action.

This ruling sends a very powerful message that those who would engage in an illegal enterprise to deplete our environment do so at their own peril and that the EPASL as a regulatory body will stop at nothing to bring to book those who choose such a path.

Executive Chairman, Dr. Bondi Gevao undertakes Familiarization Tour & Identification of Environmental Challenges in the North

The Executive Chairman of the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone has undertaken a familiarization tour with the aim of identifying key environmental challenges in the Northern Region. Dr. Bondi Gevao undertook the assessment of key environmental challenges and visit to key stakeholders in the region together with his second in command, Director Momodu Alrashid Bah, the Head of Field Operations and Extension, Lamin Tarawalie and other Senior Staff of the Agency.
Dr. Bondi is not an armchair Boss who sits at his Office to only direct the affairs of the Agency.

As new EC of the Agency, he decided to make a visit to the field to get firsthand information on the environment himself instead of relying on information relayed to him.
During the visit, he met with Senior Management of the Sierra Leone Police in Bombali and Tonkolili Districts. He wholeheartedly informed them about the challenges the environment is facing especially with the actions of illicit miners searching for gold in the Northern Region along the Pampana River estuaries.

Dr. Gevao urged Officers of the Police to work with the Environment Protection Agency to nab out illegal mining activities to enforce compliance in the region.
The Police Officers were also informed about their roles in protecting the Sierra Leone environment and were also exposed by the EPA-SL’s Executive Chairman about the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between the heads of the Sierra Leone Police and the EPASL towards issues that are central to the protection of the environment in the country.

All the Law Officers in the two districts expressed their wiliness, need and their interest in helping the Agency in protecting the Sierra Leonean environment through enforcement of environmental compliance. As the environment is key towards the survival of human beings, the Senior Police Officers called on the Agency to always work with them at all times as they are always ready when it comes to issues of operations and environmental enforcement towards protecting the environment.

During the site seeing mission in the Pampana tributaries and other swampy areas in the Tonkolili District, it was discovered that many Chinese and other foreign citizens are heavily involved in artisanal gold mining activities. Some of the foreign citizens were met on sight carrying illegal activities they are not licensed for while some Indians are renting their excavators to carryout artisanal mining activities. Artisanal Miners are not licensed by the Environment Protection Agency with an Environment Impact Assessment License and are only authorized to use shovels and pickaxes instead of using heavy machineries like excavators.

Section 23 (2) of the Environment Protection Agency Act of 2008 prohibits any person from undertaking projects such as gold mining unless he holds a valid Environment Impact Assessment license in respect of such project from the EPA-SL. The use of excavators by either a Sierra Leonean or a foreign citizen attract a fine and a penalty of Twenty-Five Million Leones for the Sierra Leonean and One Hundred Million Leones for any foreigner caught doing artisanal mining or aiding the practice such as with the renting of excavators.

During the visit, some Indians were caught renting these excavators and were impounded and handed over to the Sierra Leone Police for possible action.
The Executive Chairman and Team also visited the sites of some registered small scale mining companies which were all operated by the Chinese in the Tonkolili and Koinadugu districts.

Even though some of these companies are on the readiness to relocate their operations in other areas, it was discovered by the Team that the sites were not well kept as lubricants and other oily substances were not safely kept within the sites. Even the fuel stations were not properly kept and this caused the Executive Chairman to promise tougher actions like refusal of renewal licenses.

He informed them that such actions would be taken as foreigners should not come into the land and destroy it and at the end leave Sierra Leoneans to suffer with the dire consequences at the end.

The Executive Chairman also took the opportunity to talk to the Sierra Leone Migrants Union in the country. He informed them with all seriousness that “anyone who engages himself in artisanal or illegal mining activities in Sierra Leone would receive a free ticket or will be deported back where he came from”.

Even though Dr. Gevao welcomed the migrants in Sierra Leone, he also urged them to desist from any bad practice and discontinue with any illegal mining activities they may involve themselves with in the country and strictly follow the laid down laws and regulations of the land.

Dr. Gevao insisted that the Pampana River which many have turned into as a new mining site is his top most priority and he expressed his plans to clean it up from any irresponsible mining activities during the coming years. He called on the corporation of all Sierra Leoneans to help him achieve such aim.

Dr. Gevao visited the site of the Used Oil Factory along the Makeni-Magburaka Highway.

He informed the management of the Company to properly handle their used oil and by all means try to rehabilitate portions where used oil had already been degraded in the site.
The EC and his team also used the familiarization tour to raise the awareness of the Community people in Koinadugu District about the importance of having a good environment and admonished them from illicit mining practices.

The Team hour ever placed a cessation order at the offices of the Sierramin Bauxite Company along the Rogbaray Junction until the Company regularizes its status. Its EIA license had long expired since March.

After the visit and seeing many environmental challenges caused by Mining Companies, the Executive Chairman of the Agency promised to be working on a plan whereby mining companies should be put on a bond system with certain amount of money deposited to the government. In a situation where such Companies do not accomplish their adaptation or mine closure plans at the end of their operations or if they destroy the environment at an irreparable level, such bond fees would be used to accomplish that for them.

 From the Department of Public Relations and Intersectoral Collaboration, EPASL

EPASL signs MOU with Sierra Leone Police aiming at tackling Environmental Crimes

The Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone on Monday 27th July signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sierra Leone Police with the aim of tackling environmental crimes across the country.


The MOU, which was signed by the Executive Chairman of the EPASL and the Inspector General of Police is aimed at building effective synergies for the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes across the country. It will also enhance the sharing of information on key environmental issues such as banned, controlled and hazardous substances and their impact on the environment and to develop credible pathways for compliance with and enforcement of the legal and regulatory framework relating to the aforementioned issues.
Furthermore, this MOU would lend credence to the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements to which Sierra Leone is a party. The principles guiding the implementation of the MOU would include service to the safety and health of the people and the environment; transparency and accountability and respect for institutional mandates and leadership.


While delivering his statement, the Executive Chairman of the EPASL, Dr. Bondi Gevao said our country’s forests were being depleted as a result of illegal and unregulated timber logging, charcoal production and the unsustainable mining on our river beds, to name but a few. These and other anthropogenic activities were having a telling effect on our country’s ability to effectively deal with climate change issues and also affecting the capacity of our forests to provide their numerous services for human survival and development and accelerating the levels of flooding and erosion in all parts of the country, Dr Bondi Gevao further stated.
The EPASL boss also noted that ‘‘the nature and quality of our soil is being altered as a result of quarrying activities, chemical use in agricultural and industrial activities, unsustainable farming practices including shifting cultivation, irresponsible bush burning and construction of houses in wetland and hilltop areas” and that this was having a devastating impact on food production and water supply as well.


The Inspector General of Police, Ambros Michael Sovula expressed appreciation for the MOU and noted that this was a step in the direction of effective environmental protection in the country. He said under his leadership, the Sierra Leone Police would lend its maximum support to the Environment Protection Agency to tackle environmental challenges across the country with the ultimate aim of increasing environmental compliance in the country. He also reiterated the fact that environmental threats were increasing in the country and that these threats were potential sources of disaster in the country. He encouraged all Police Officers to work with the EPASL in implementing the spirit and contents of the MOU across the country.


The IG admonished the leadership of the EPASL to continue engaging other partners so that with their cooperation, it would be much easier to enforce environmental laws in the country. It is anticipated that the MOU would be decentralized at District level to ensure its effective implementation. The Legal Team of the EPASL and the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Sierra Leone Police would take the lead in the implementation of the MOU.

From the Department of Public Relations and Inter-sectoral Collaboration of the Environment Protection Agency Sierra Leone

New Executive Chairman takes up Office at the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone

The Minister of Environment, Prof. Foday Moriba Jaward has handed over the position to head the Agency to the new Executive Chairman of the Environment Protection Agency of Sierra Leone. The ceremony which took place at the Agency’s Headquarters in Freetown was witnessed by a dedicated team of Staff members who will miss the former Executive Chairman. Staff members are however comforted and encouraged by the credentials of Prof. Jaward’s successor in the person of Dr. Bondi Gevao.

Dr. Gevao’s appointment came after the former Executive Chairman was appointed by President Julius Maada Bio to serve as the new Minister of the Environment. Dr. Gevao is an environmental organic chemist with expertise in a number of analytical techniques for measuring contaminants in the environment at trace levels. He has worked on many aspects of the sources and environmental fate of contaminants, studying chemical behaviour in the aquatic and terrestrial environments.

Since his appointment as Head of the EPASL, Prof. Jaward had brought significant changes to the institution. These include the establishment of an Environmental Court in the High Court of Sierra Leone; review of environmental impact assessment processes; alternative livelihood support to rural communities particularly in the agricultural sector, and strengthening of partnerships and environmental education across the country.

The new Executive Chairman was welcomed at the Agency by the Director of the EPASL, Momodu A. Bah. He welcomed Dr. Bondi to the premises of the Agency and further thanked the President of Sierra Leone for his wise decision in appointing Dr. Bondi to serve in the capacity of Executive Chairman of the Agency.  He entreated Dr. Gevao to emulate his predecessor’s exemplary leadership qualities in handling the affairs of the Agency.

As Minister of the Environment, Prof. Jaward is expected to oversee the Environment Protection Agency after the EPA Act of 2008 would have been amended. Dr. Jaward thanked all his Staff of the Agency for working with him assiduously in the interest of the country.

igin_widget class=”SiteOrigin_Panels_Widgets_PostContent”][/siteorigin_widget]

Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Sierra Leone Coastal Landscape

The Minister of the Environment of Sierra Leone, Prof. Foday Moriba Jaward launched the Sierra Leone Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Coastal Landscape Complex (CCAP) report which sets the framework for a climate change adaptation plan that is geared towards increasing the resilience of coastal communities across Sierra Leone. The launching was done on the 6th February 2020 at the British Council Hall in Freetown marking this year’s World Wetlands Day celebration with the theme ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’. The study which is now owned by the Government of Sierra Leone was done by the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change programme with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Sierra Leone Coastal Landscape Comple

Environment Protection Agency and Partners hosts Workshop on the Abdijan Convention and its Protocols

The Environment Protection Agency in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment, the West African Biodiversity and Climate Change Program and the Abidjan Convention had ended a three-day National Stakeholders Workshop from the 10th on to the 12th February 2020 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Freetown. The purpose of the Workshop is to develop an Action Plan for the Additional Protocols of the Abidjan Convention such as the Protocol for the Prevention of Marine Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (Bassam Protocol); the Protocol on Environmental Standards for offshore Oil and Gas activities (Malabo Protocol); the Protocol on Integrated Costal Zone Management (Pointe Noire Protocol) and the Protocol on Sustainable Mangrove Management otherwise known as the Calabar Protocol.
The Action Plan will present a comprehensive list of activities to be implemented both at regional and national levels to ensure the proper operationalization of the Protocols. The main objective of the consultation is to ensure the integration of stakeholders’ concerns, priorities and harmonization with various national plans and strategies.


The workshop attracted key representation from environmental stakeholders in the country and the African Sub-region. The Minister of the Environment, Professor Foday Moriba Jaward said the National consultation serves as a roadmap to transforming the written text of the protocols into viable actions for the implementation of the additional protocols to the Abidjan convention. ‘The action plan to be developed will present a comprehensive list of aligned and prioritized actions to be implemented at the national level to ensure the proper operationalization of the additional protocols’ he added.
Commenting further, Prof. Jaward said “as a government we note that, in the context of global environmental governance and cooperation, the regional level represents a critical middle ground between the global and national levels. So recognizing the good governance of the marine environment for seas that borders more than one state falls into regional rules, the essence of developing additional protocols to address the issues in the marine and coastal environment in the West, Central and Southern African region becomes a brilliant initiative”.
The Minister also said that most are ‘familiar with the issues facing our coastal and marine areas, for which management measures are needed to facilitate through the rational planning of activities and by ensuring that the environment and landscape are taken into account in harmony with economic, social and cultural developments’. He said though oil development has wide ranging socio-economic advantage, it has associated environmental impacts that will lead to habitat loss and destruction of living marine resources.
Sierra Leone is not presently an oil producing country but as a responsible government, it is now on contingency planning and preparedness in the form of developing national environment standards for offshore oil and gas production which is a sound initiative to address any future problem.
In line with government’s ambition to address environmental issues and to build national environmental resilience – which is a key milestone of the medium term national development plan 2019-2023, ‘the protocols will serve as the overall framework to foster effective and sustainable management of our coastal resources and help to address emerging issues and climate change’, the Minister reechoed.


The UN Environment administers the convention on then cooperation for protection, management and development of the marine and coastal environment of the Atlantic Coast of West, Central and Southern African region, otherwise known as the Abidjan Convention.
Mr. Kenan Mogultay, from the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change Program in his statement highlights the importance of the Abidjan Convention protocols while noting that Sierra Leone continues to show commitment on the marine and coastal zone protection and management. He said the national action plans defines roles and responsibility and the more reason for the national stakeholders workshop.
The Executive Director of the Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa, Mr. Ali Kamal-Deen it was an honor to be part of the workshop in Sierra Leone since the consultative workshop will pave the future of the country for offshore oil and gas exploration.

Environment Minister launches Sierra Leone Climate Change Adaptation Study on Coastal Landscape

The Minister of the Environment, Prof. Foday Moriba Jaward had launched the Sierra Leone Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Coastal Landscape Complex (CCAP) report which sets the framework for a climate change adaptation plan that is geared towards increasing the resilience of coastal communities across Sierra Leone. The launching was done at the British Council Hall in Freetown marking this year’s World Wetlands Day celebration with the theme ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’.

The study which is now owned by the Government of Sierra Leone was done by the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change programme with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  The CCAP offers a mechanism for implementing, tracking, evaluating, and communicating adaptation actions and results, which are critical to the climate change adaptation plan’s overall success.

As a party to the Ramsar Convention, Sierra Leone joins the world to celebrate World Wetlands Day to remind all about the inextricable relationship that humans and wetlands share. Apart from being a natural habitat for marine species, wetlands also provide clean water, carbon storage, promote tourism, support human health and boost economies.

Before launching the report, the Environment Minister reechoed that the destruction of wetlands and other ecologically sensitive areas cannot be allowed to continue unabated adding that the fight to sustainably manage our wetlands is not a ‘one man’s fight’.

He said ‘the fight to protect wetland biodiversity heralded a significant milestone with the signing of the Ramsar Convention in the Iranian city of Ramsar on 2nd February 1971. Since 1997, the world has continued to celebrate the signing of the convention annually as a way of raising public awareness about the immense benefits that we derive from wetlands and also about the importance of conserving wetlands as well as their wise use’.

He noted that ‘the rampant display of disregard for wetlands is manifested in several ways; these include but not limited to cutting down of mangroves which are a form of carbon sink and breeding ground for fish; construction of buildings in wetland areas; unsustainable mining; embankments, dumping of waste and the use of hazardous chemicals like mercury and other pollutants’ which had led to a rapid decrease in marine life, significant water shortages, flooding and climate change.

According to the Minister, ‘the Sierra Leone River Estuary, which includes the Aberdeen Creek, is the only wetland area in Sierra Leone recognized under the Ramsar convention. It is disturbing to note that the Aberdeen Creek and other wetlands across the country have suffered massive encroachment by members of the public despite series of government actions against these encroachers. These government actions include the reforestation of the Aberdeen creek and the series of engagements with councils for the protection of wetlands in their respective cities and towns especially Bo and Makeni which are prone to flooding’.

He also said that the government of His Excellency the President, Rtd. Brigadier Dr. Julius Madaa Bio attaches great importance to the protection of the environment which includes protection of wetlands adding that the creation of the new Ministry of Environment is a testament to his unwavering commitment to sustainable environmental protection and governance in Sierra Leone.

He reiterated that the adequate supply of pipe borne water particularly to residents in the Western Area continues to face serious challenges for government as well as the wanton destruction of wetlands being a major contributor to the perineal issue of water shortage in the country. He said ‘people continue to encroach on water catchment areas notwithstanding that some of these catchment areas are located in protected areas.

However, the new Ministry of the Environment is presently collaborating with other MDAs like the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning, the Environment Protection Agency, the National Protected Area Authority and the Guma Valley Water Company in other to work out sustainable solutions to resuscitate depleted water catchment areas.

Ministry of Environment and Environment Protection Agency play host to Africa Environment Day Commemoration

The Government of Sierra Leone through the newly created Ministry of the Environment have played host to the African Environment and Wangari Maathai day 2020 with the theme ‘our resources – our future”. The Day which was commemorated on the 3rd March 2020 at the Miatta Conference Center attracted guests from across the African region as well as the host country.

the Minister of the Environment, Prof. Jaward said Sierra Leone was proud as a nation to host the African Environment Day

African Environment Day, celebrated annually on 3 March, was established by the Organization of African Unity in 2002 as a way of raising awareness on the pressing environmental challenges facing the continent. Since 2012, the African Environment Day has been celebrated in conjunction with Wangari Maathai Day, in order to pay tribute to the late Nobel Laureate’s green legacy.

The relevance of having the African Environmental Day commemoration in Sierra Leone, inter alia, is that it will lead to increased awareness on the challenges facing our environment; enhance sustainable management of resources for sustainable development; sensitization and awareness raising on women’s access to land and other natural resources which hitherto, has been encumbered by the inequitable use of natural resources; expose the country to more tourist attractions as well as foreign direct investment and strengthens cooperation on several Multilateral Environment Agreements to which Sierra Leone is a party.

Delegates around Africa witness the commemoration in Freetown

The African Environment Day celebration is supported by the African Union and the Government of Sierra Leone and its partners. The theme for the celebration of this day also draws attention to the enormous opportunities that Africa has in the sustainable management of its natural resources.

The Chief Minister of Sierra Leone, Prof. David J. Francis served as the Keynote Speaker during the commemoration. While he was delivering his statement on behalf of His Excellency the President, he said Sierra Leone’s hosting of the 2020 edition of the African Environment and Wangari Maathai Day celebrations was a clear manifestation of the fact that the country was stable and peaceful. Emphasizing on the theme of the celebration, Prof. Francis said ‘our strategic resources in the continent have not been beneficial to us in the continent’ and stressed that with a concerted effort, there was hope for the future. Prof. Francis added that the theme which focuses on the natural resources aimed at addressing the numerous environmental challenges facing the continent.

the Minister of the Environment, Prof. Jaward plants a tree marking the end of the Africa Environment Day Commemoration

Prof. Wangari Maathai had played a great role in the world the world in general and Africa in particular in terms of environmental management and sustainability. Prof. Francis called on fellow Africans to adopt the legacies of the first African Woman to have won the Nobel Peace Price.

To demonstrate the seriousness on issues of environment and national development in the country, the President of Sierra Leone, H.E Dr. Julius Maada Bio established the Ministry of environment to ensure environmental sustainability and Prof. Francis said with the leadership and caliber of Dr. Foday M. Jaward at the new environment Ministry, the Sierra Leonean environment can be managed well.

In his welcome address, the Minister of the Environment, Prof. Jaward said Sierra Leone was proud as a nation to host the African Environment Day. Stressing on the need for change and adopt new measures towards the environment, Prof. Jaward said as Africans, ‘we have come to terms with the fact that we cannot continue with business as usual’. He said natural resource exploitation without regard for environmental protection is detrimental and therefore called Africa to act now.

He commented that Women played a key role in the management of natural resources but that often times they had been the ones left behind in taking actions towards environmental protection. He applauded the AU Commission for taking resolutions that would ensure the inclusion of women in the protection of the environment.

There is still a gender gap that inhibits women in terms of their productive role in environment governance. Prof. Jaward said closing that gap will foster economic growth in developing countries.

Her Worship the Mayor of the Freetown Municipality, Madam Yvone Aki Sawyer said in other to combat Climate Change and other social challenges I’m the country, the Freetown City Council was already in preparation to plant about a million trees in the city annually.

The Chief Minister of Sierra Leone, Prof. David J. Francis served as the Keynote Speaker during the commemoration and also plants a tree

The Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union Commission, H. E. Ambasador Josefa Sacko said Africa’s most extractive industries had sparked controversies in environmental management and had contributed to the devastation of the environment and economic structures. He said Africa doesn’t need to borrow from anyone if ‘we manage our resources well’. He added that the value of overseas development aid does not equate to the resources in Africa, adding that sustainable management of ‘our land and water resources will take us a long way towards environmental management’. He congratulated the Minister of the Environment and the government of Sierra Leone for hosting the African Environment Program this year which clearly shows the seriousness of the government of Sierra Leone towards addressing environmental issues. The celebrations would come to a conclusion on Wednesday 4th March with a tour of some key ecological sites within the Western Area.