CSSL supports communities around the Western Area Peninsula to reach out to government
Community members at the Western Area Peninsula are heavily concerned about the deforestation, mining activities and degradation of the environment.
The Western Area Peninsula Forest National Park is their insurance for a save and healthy future. Seven communities have started an online petition to raise awareness and call government to action. The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) together with Green Scenery and Trocaire support the communities in their efforts.
The petition states:
“IT IS EITHER NOW OR TOO LATE FOR ACTION”
Sierra Leone is among the 10 percent of the countries in the World that are most vulnerable to adverse consequences of climate change of which, it is one of the least able to cope with the effects (Africa Renewal, Babatunde Ahonsi, November, 2022). The country represents one of the poorest in the world facing multiple risks from climate change that threaten key economic sectors, increase the potential for a wider environmental degradation (climate risk profile, 2016) and prone to levels of security threats (says Joseph Rahall, Green Scenery).
Sierra Leone is experiencing adverse climate conditions with negative impacts on the welfare of millions of Sierra Leoneans. Flooding during the rainy season, off-season rains, and dry spells with high temperatures, have sent farming seasons out of cycle. In a country dependent on rain-fed agriculture, this presents grave socio-economic consequences that have the potential to grossly undermine the current call by the government for food self-sufficiency, dubbed Feed Salone.
Deforestation is the second largest contributor to Climate Change worldwide, and the largest contributor in Sierra Leone (Wikipedia, deforestation and climate change 2014),
Freetown’s main water source, the Guma Valley, no longer holds water to a sustainable capacity that should serve the water needs of the already bulging city because large tracks of the Peninsular forests (The Western Area National Park) are being degraded at an irreparable rate from stone mining, charcoal burning, sand mining, infrastructure development, housing expansion etc. Between 2021 and 2022 alone forest cover loss in the Western Area Peninsular Forest amounted to 552Ha (Global Forest Watch website accessed 2022). Between November 2022 to April 2023, (six months duration), a further forest cover loss in the Western Area Peninsular Forest Reserve amounted to 195Ha (WFP, Aims report 2023).
Your support is needed! Sign the petition to reach out to government and help the community members in their efforts to protect their livelihoods and sustainable future.
Concerned community representatives visited CSSL office to present the petition: