As part of its engagement with Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Friday, 29th April, 2022, the European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone together with the National Authorising Office (NAO) has dialogued with the Ministry of Environment and its different units to discuss the environment component in the European Union Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2021-2027.
The meeting was part of EU’s targeted sectoral interventions to discuss the new EU Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (MIP) 202-2027 and the Ministry of Environment falls under Priority Area one that deals with the Green Economy, with specific objective to contribute to restoring, managing and protecting terrestrial and marine biodiversity and ecosystems. It focuses on strengthening restoration and protection of terrestrial and marine ecosystems and biodiversity, improving sustainable livelihood for people and communities to reduce threats to biodiversity and ecosystems, and strengthening governance, improve capabilities for sustainable management of terrestrial and marine resources.
The dialogue session is to create a platform for mutual discussions between EU and the Ministry of Environment to better understand plans, progress, challenges and opportunities in the ministry to help inform potential areas that will be supported by the EU under the MIP.
The Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Manuel Muller talked about the main objectives and interventions of the Green Alliance. He said stressed the importance of environmental protection, as one of priority areas of the Green Alliance and the main focus of the for EU development cooperation with sierra Leone as per the MIP which consists of about 120 million Euro for wide range of projects and programmes aimed at the following three specific objectives:
- Increased generation and access to modern, sustainable, affordable and reliable energy for jobs and growth
- Sustainable, employment-oriented agriculture and fisheries food systems for health and nutrition
- Restoring, managing and protecting terrestrial and marine biodiversity and ecosystems.
Amb. Manuel Muller said under the third objective, the following results are envisage; awareness, monitoring and information systems on the use of natural resources and on the management of the protected areas is improved, governance and enforcement in and around protected areas is enhanced; and socio-economic conditions of communities depending on natural resources for their livelihood is promoted.
Minister of Environment Prof. Foday Jaward said one major challenge by the ministry is the lack of modern legislations and policies. He said that is why the ministry has worked hard develop legislations and policies so it work will be effective. He said policies and legislations about the environment are too old to be effective. Prof. Jaward also informed that the Ministry has established an Environment Court just to look at environment cases for swift actions against offenders.
He went further to talk about challenges and hope for the ministry through government’s commitment in protecting the environment.
Director at the National Authorising Office, Ambrose James talked about coordination between and amongst relevant ministries and agencies in protecting the environment, political will, public education and awareness, law enforcement, incentives and alternative livelihoods for people and communities who are surviving through environment activities.