The Government of Sierra Leone has successfully launched the National Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) target setting process. The launching ceremony took place at the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and Environment, in Freetown and was broadcast on National TV in three consecutive slots.
The event was attended by officials from Government Ministries, Agencies, and Departments, including academic and research institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society, community-based organizations, and development partners.
Mr. Mamoud Tawaralie, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and Environment gave the keynote address, while Mr. Barba B. Fortune, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and Environment, chaired the meeting. They affirmed their support to the LDN target setting process and undertook to provide leadership, support and facilitation.
Noting the activities being undertaken by other Government Ministries, such as the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, The Environment Protection Agency, The National Protected Area Authority, and The National Minerals Agency, Mr. Tawaralie declared that they are working “to ensure that the country monitors the changing climatic patterns, which are becoming global phenomena, and are having a strong, negative impact on the country’s productive sector”.
Through the LDN process, “Sierra Leone will also address the issues of food security, income equality, poverty reduction and job creation, as relevant co-benefits of the articulating LDN targets in this country”, stated Mr. Lahai S. Keita, UNCCD National Reporting Officer for the Ministry of Lands.
Participants underlined how land degradation is curtailing farming productivity due to the loss of soil nutrients that are vital for crop growth. As a response to this challenge, representatives of the Sierra Leone National Federation of Farmers called for a partnership with mine workers to undertake joint revegetation programmes to achieve LDN in Sierra Leone. By embarking on this partnership, Sierra Leone is not only addressing one of the root causes driving land degradation in the country, but also including mining stakeholders in the solution to the problem. This topic will be addressed in more detail during upcoming LDN National Working Group sessions.