By Abdulai Braima, Information Attaché, SLHC,UK…..
In view of the accelerating pace at which climate change is adversely impacting countries around the world, international organizations and national governments are increasingly cooperating to craft practical policy documents and take urgent measures that could help address the growing challenges. In pursuit of this general global goal, Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and accredited countries, HE Dr. Morie Manyeh, has had a productive meeting with senior officers of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The Secretariat was represented by Mr. Unnikrishnam Nair, the head of climate change and Mr. Andrew Schofield, operations officer in that section.
Thursday’s zoom meeting was organised in preparation for the launching of the Commonwealth Call to Action on Living Lands (CALL) at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Rwanda in June 2021.
The discussions centred around the development of initiatives that can support the work of the Government of Sierra Leone to accelerate action around land utilisation and reclamation that would meet existing targets.
The Living Lands Charter discussion focused on five key areas:-
i. Climate Resilient Agriculture for Food Security
ii. Soil and Water Conservation and Management
iii. Sustainable Green Cover and Biodiversity
iv. Carbon Neutral and Climate Resilient Livestock Rearing and Animal Husbandry
v. Indigenous People and Climate Resilient Development.
During the discussions HE Dr. Manyeh emphasised the need for everyone to work together within the larger commonwealth context to alleviate sufferings inflicted on rural communities due to climate change, mining activities as well as other related factors. The High Commissioner also pointed out the necessity for revisiting the existing international corporate policies in a way that could give some level of relief to the more disadvantaged countries.
Dr. Manyeh explained that the vision of H.E. president Julius Maada Bio on climate change was informed by a deep-rooted understanding of our national situation, pointing out that for the first time in the history of Sierra Leone the country has an entire ministry dedicated to the environment.
The High Commissioner called on the commonwealth to come together and support member countries with capacity building through technical assistance and knowledge sharing.
In his submissions Mr. Unnikrishnan Nair revealed that the Blue Ocean Initiative and the Call to Action on Living Lands (CALL) would be supported by the climate finance scheme and he appealed for the facilitation of further discussions on the subject with the relevant governmental ministries.
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