By Foday Moriba Conteh
On 16th July 2020, Chief Minister, Professor David John Francis, reaffirmed President Julius Maada Bio’s Commitment to protect the Environment through the newly established Ministry of the Environment, under the astute leadership of Professor Foday Jaward, while addressing Western area stakeholders at Hotel Cabenda in Freetown, on the need to amend the National Environmental Laws in Sierra Leone, in order to meet today’s growing Environmental Challenges across the globe.
The Consultative Seminar organized by the Ministry was to tap on the knowledge of locals and to allow them access in making input to the future laws that will guide the management of the environment.
According to the Chief Minister, the establishment of the first Ministry of Environment by the President Bio is a demonstration of his Commitment in tackling environmental issues. Stating that, President Bio is concerned about the future of the environment.
He said the review of the environmental protection agency act of 2008 and 2010 amendment, the National Protected Agency Authority and the Conservation Trust Act of 2012, the Forestry Act of 1988, the Wild Life Conservation Act of 1972 and the National Environment Policy of 1994 were all eminent; and that all these will now be under the supervision of the Ministry of the Environment.
He thanked the UNDP for providing financial, logistical and technical support to the Ministry of the Environment to help address the challenges and overlapping mandates and lack of coordination and supervision that leaves the environmental agencies in the hands of unscrupulous politicians.
Professor Francis called for a clear, proactive and strategic engagement with all the environment related agencies to make sure they work together through coordination and consultations, so that the end product will be reflective of what the Ministry and the President’s vision stands for. He thanked the Ministry of the environment for taking the lead in the whole process.