Sierra Leone hosts African Environment/ Wangari Maathai Day 2020
This year’s regional Africa Environment and Wangari Maathai Day drew stakeholders from the African Union, World Bank, UNEP, UNDP, and civil society organizations from across Africa among others to Freetown Sierra Leone to celebrate the works of Wangari Maathai on environmental conservation and to sensitize leaders on the need to sustainably manage our resources.
The event was characterized by songs, dances, poems, exhibitions and drama as community groups and students showcased their talents and created awareness on environmental conservations.
Addressing the gathering, the Minister of Environment of Sierra Leones said that the day offers an opportunity to share knowledge in order to make informed environmental decisions as well as a platform for reflection and stock-taking on the achievement of sustainable development goals particularly SDG No. 13.
He noted that with the current challenges arising from climate change, every sector is affected including impacts on inter-generational development and there is a need to enhance sustainable natural resources management.
The Chief Minister in the Government of Sierra Leone Hon. Professor David John Francis highlighted the work of Professor Wangari Maathai in saving Mother Nature. He hailed Professor Maathai as an African icon on the sustainable development and empowerment of women, particularly rural women. He also noted Professor Maathai’s realization of the linkages between environment and peace and urged African leaders to emulate her. The Minister assured the leaders that the Sierra Leone government will continue to make financial commitments to conserve the environment especially plastic eradication and informed the participants that the government targets to plant 1 million trees annually.
Other dignitaries present were the former Vice president of Gambia Her Excellency Fatima Atta and Former Minister of Education in Mali, Madam Sidibe
The climax of the event was a tree planting activity in the government offices where Monodora grandidieri trees were planted for their aesthetic value in the city building plans