SLPP’s Environmental Management Promises: Success or Failure?
By the Sierra Leone Live Team
The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) unveiled an expansive manifesto in 2018 that outlined their goals for enhancing the nation’s environmental management. Sierra Leone Live will look into whether the SLPP has succeeded in this respect as the June 24, 2023 elections draw near.
We now summarize the 2018 SLPP Manifesto’s section on environmental management.
Deforestation, biodiversity loss, climate change, poor sanitation and waste management, land degradation, soil nutrient depletion, and pollution from mining activities are just a few of the environmental problems Sierra Leone is dealing with.
Sustainable development, poverty reduction, health and education systems, and food security of the nation are all impacted by these problems. The Sustainable Development Goals are particularly at risk of climate change, which has a disproportionately negative impact on vulnerable groups like women and those living in fishing and farming communities.
The “New Direction” for environmental management outlined in the SLPP Manifesto focuses on four key areas:
- Ecosystem Protection,
- Environmental Governance,
- Sustainably managing forest resources, and
- Environmental Education.
Ecosystem Protection: The manifesto outlined plans to safeguard vulnerable ecosystems and biodiversity hotspots, as well as to ratify and uphold the terms of various environmental and climate change conventions. It also called for the completion of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) by major mining companies and industrial facilities. It also stressed the promotion of energy use and conservation and the importance of environmental issues in land allocation decision-making procedures.
Environmental Governance: The SLPP committed to reviewing the 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Act, amending many policies to include measures to mitigate land degradation, observing industrial compliance with environmental laws, and establishing independent agencies for meteorology and disaster management. A flood risk management strategy, a strategy and policy for combating climate change, and ensuring environmental sustainability across sectors were also among its objectives. The party also proposed A National Environment Fund and an environmental court.
Developing a National Program for Regenerating and Shared Management of Forest Cover and Related Products, Providing Alternatives to Wood and Biomass Products for Energy Sources, Operationalizing a Sustainable Financing Mechanism for Carbon Trade, and Strengthening Public-Private Partnerships for Forest Conservation are some commitments made by the SLPP to sustainably manage forest resources. They sought to strengthen the Forestry Division’s capabilities and update the 2015 Forestry and Wildlife Acts.
Environmental Education: The SLPP committed to stepping up its information and education efforts to discourage actions that hurt the environment and to support the inclusion of environmental education in curricula at schools, colleges, and universities.
As the elections get closer, Sierra Leone Live is committed to looking into how the SLPP is doing regarding keeping its environmental management promises. Our unbiased assessment will offer perceptions of the advancements accomplished as well as areas needing more focus.
Stay tuned for a thorough analysis of the SLPP’s performance in achieving the lofty objectives outlined in its 2018 manifesto.