“As world leaders and climate practitioners meet to discuss and set targets to reduce carbon footprints globally, Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) is working with partners, home and abroad, to help Sierra Leone be part of this journey. In spite of our three decades of interventions, the challenges of deforestation and environmental degradation still remain alive. Although we have made huge success in preserving the Gola Forest landscape, we still have serious challenges with other ‘protected areas.

“Logging, mining and hunting are perpetrated at scale at the Outamba Kilimi National Park while land grabbing and encroachment at the Western Area Peninsula National Park are the order of the day. The official exportation of timber sanctioned by government is not helping efforts to curb this menace. If we can’t protect the protected areas that have significant forest cover and rich biodiversity, then our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint as a nation is called to question.

“Sierra Leone is well represented at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow and so the government is expected to accelerate action locally towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“CSSL therefore calls on the Sierra Leone Government to do the needful to save the remaining forests so that our nation will continue to breathe and remain alive post COP26.

Sheku Kamara
Executive Director
Conservation Society of Sierra Leone