During the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, Hon. Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, Chairman of the Presidential Initiative for Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Food Security, addressed the “Alliance of Champions for Food Systems Transformation Consultation” Forum. In his speech, he shed light on President Julius Maada Bio’s endeavors to attain food self-sufficiency within the next five years.
Sierra Leone, among 134 signatory nations to the Leaders Declaration on Agriculture, Food, and Climate, is committed to fortifying food systems, bolstering climate resilience and combating hunger. The upcoming launch of the Food Alliance, co-chaired by Sierra Leone, Norway and Brazil, aims to accelerate global partnerships on food security and will be officially announced during COP28.
UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Her Excellency Mariam Bint Almheiri, commended COP28 for spotlighting food systems in its agenda for the first time in the conference’s history. She highlighted the COP’s success in mobilizing $83 billion, setting the pace for significant climate action.
The top priorities outlined for implementing the Leaders Declaration encompass scaling up resilience activities for farmers, promoting food security and nutrition, supporting vulnerable agricultural workers, adopting integrated water and agriculture strategies and optimizing environmental benefits by conserving natural ecosystems.
Dr. Yumkella stressed President Bio’s commitment to achieving food self-sufficiency within five years, aiming to create employment opportunities for women and youth while boosting economic growth. He emphasized Sierra Leone’s readiness with strategic plans and technical capabilities to realize this goal, integrating energy solutions tailored to the food system’s needs to enhance resilience in the face of climate change.
Also present at the forum were Sierra Leone’s Minister of Environment, Jiwoh Emmanuel Abdulai, and the Executive Chairman of the country’s Environment Protection Agency, Dr. Abu-Bakarr Massaquoi.