At a national dialogue on Global Environment Facility Financing Mechanism held at the Sierra Lighthouse hall, Aberdeen, Madam Haddiatu Jallow on Wednesday told participants that Sierra Leone is rated the three most vulnerable country to climate change and other environmental hazards.

Haddiatu Jallow

Mrs Jallow, Executive Chairman of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Sierra Leone, in her statement, explained to participants some of the crucial challenges that humanity is facing due to the rapid degradation of the environment and pointed out that some of the economic and agricultural impacts that Sierra Leone has been experiencing over the years.

“Presently, the country is suffering from the impact of these changes, the flooding in Makeni, Bo-Kenema highway, Freetown, the change in the pattern of the rainfall has terrible impact on our farming communities and this has resulted in the reduction in crop yields, the loss of properties and further putting additional stress on our food security and livelihood programmes,” she added.

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She further explained that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established to help tackle the planet’s most pressing environment problems and to serve as a financing mechanism, adding that the dialogue was designed to help the coordination and partnership of various stakeholders within the public and private sectors.

In her conclusion, she assured participants that the Government of Sierra Leone through EPA will continue to work in partnership with the GEF implementing agencies to ensure synergies in developing programmes as such biodiversity, climate change mitigation, land degradation international water, ozone depleting substances, persistent pollution and sustainable forest management.

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Speaking on the need to strengthen the coordination and partnership of various stakeholders within the public and private sectors to provide platform for environmental issues, Mr Victor Strasser-King, Strategic Policy Unit, State House, disclosed to participants that the dialogue was planned to help provide environmental management for sustainable development and to facilitate different dialogues within the country on environmental issues.

Mr Strasser-King highlighted on the operational issues of the GEF and other financing mechanism to effectively co-fund programme designed with greater impact on the society at large.