The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) received delegates from the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) at its headquarters at Congo Town in Freetown on 9th February, 2023. The purpose of the engagement was to introduce the Commission’s newly established Directorate of Climate Change and Information Services, and initiate steps towards building strategic partnership between the two institutions.
The Deputy Executive Secretary of the HRCSL, Mr. Frederick Kamara, explained to all present the link between climate change and human rights, and also related it to what he referred to as the significant work of CSSL in protecting the environment over the years. He outlined the Commission’s functions relative to investigating and publishing human rights concerns, which could serve as advocacy tools that are capable of triggering actions at higher level. The HRCSL Deputy Executive Secretary called for collaboration in capacity building, awareness raising, research (baseline surveys), policy formulation and implementation, among others.
The Executive Director of CSSL, Dr. Sheku Kamara, welcomed the team from HRCSL and expressed appreciation for the newly created Directorate on Climate Change and Information Services, pointing out that, they have been looking for an institution that has the mandate to enforce policy implementation and hold state actors accountable for failing to take action for climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. “Much has been done so far towards preservation of the environment, but not holding perpetrators that are encroaching on national forest reserves, terrestrial and marine protected areas for whatever purposes, is however frustrating”, Dr. Kamara lamented.
Both institutions reaffirmed the need to closely work together to mitigate climate change impacts on human rights in Sierra Leone.