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UNDP/GEF Call On Climate Change

UNDP/GEF Call On Climate Change

The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Global Environmental Facilitate (GEF) on Wednesday September 12, launched the project called “Strengthening information and early warning systems in Western and Central Africa for climate resilient development and adaptation to climate change in Sierra Leone.

Addressing the impending threat of Global Climate Change, at the Shangra hotel lounge, Aberdeen Beach Road, Freetown, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Raymond Johnson started by talking about the spirit of the global concern of climatic threat facing the human race. He said the inception of the project is the first stage designed to target climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He noted further that this singular problem has the potential to undermine development efforts of developing countries like Sierra Leone, noting that Sierra Leone, unlike her developed counterparts lacks the modern day technological advancement to address such issues if the need arises. He cited the recent torrential rainfall that had rendered severe human disaster as evidence of unfavorable climatic condition.

Deputy Country Director of the UNDP, Mohamed Abchir added his voice to the global call, noting that his organisation’s aim is to see that the global climate challenges facing countries in Africa are addressed. He explained further that in the spirit of the establishment of the National Adaptation Plan of Action on Climate Change (NAPA) by the Government of Sierra Leone aimed to empower the country’s meteorological service and establish an early warning system, is a plus commendation to the Government.

The Director continued by saying that his organization will support the Meteorological department to improve it capacity, citing that they had already handed them six weather stations to add up to the existing two currently in operation at Lungi and Makeni.

Director for Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Colleh Bangura, said that GEF came into existence after the international panel of climate change was established, which later gave birth to international framework on climate change, due to the existing threats facing the planet. He also noted that the 2002 Rio Dejanero conference in Brazil, targeted important issues to be addressed, especially those faced by poorer countries that contributed little to the pollution of the earth. Countries tagged as Least Developed Countries (LDC), he said are of prime concern as they are likely to feel the effect of climate change; noting that owing to this reason, GEF has established the LDC fund which is aimed at helping to finance the establishment of early warning system in poorer countries.

Director of Meteorological Service, Mr. Lansana outlined the challenges his department is facing pointing to lack of personnel, equipment and above all, people’s approach to the department. He however stated that things will get better when the department is institutionalized.

Representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Aviations, Ministry of Agriculture and Office of National Security (ONS), spoke on the issue, commending the project and referring to it as great gain to the people and government of this country.                                      

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