FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, Nov 14 (IPS) – Sierra Leone is among the many 10 p.c of nations on this planet which can be most weak to the hostile penalties of local weather change, and presently one of many least ready to deal with the consequences.
Unpredictable climate patterns, extreme flooding, mudslides, and related crop failures have gotten extra frequent even because the nation is witnessing timber being minimize down at a quicker fee than being planted.
And local weather scientists inform us that if the world doesn’t obtain a pointy drop in world warming within the subsequent eight years, the pure calamities that we’ve seen in current occasions all over the world might be youngster’s play in contrast to what’s to return.
COP27, the twenty seventh Convention of State Events, happening in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt is the annual gathering by the United Nations of governments, scientists, and different key stakeholders from all international locations of the world to assessment progress in efforts to avert environmental disaster, in opposition to commitments contained in world local weather motion agreements.
Africa, the worldwide area which has contributed the least to the continuing local weather disaster, has skilled among the worst losses and damages attributable to human-induced local weather change.
So, because the continent hosts this yr’s COP, the important thing preoccupation might be producing a roadmap for the implementation of unfulfilled guarantees from earlier COPs. That is particularly in relation to the pending monetary pledges made by wealthy international locations to help growing international locations like Sierra Leone to reduce the affect of and adapt to local weather change.
The purpose should be made that the problem of fulfilling local weather finance obligations of high-income international locations to growing international locations is way much less a matter of support dependency than of local weather justice.
There’ll justifiably be a major push for elevated funding for adaptation and resilience initiatives in low- and lower-middle-income international locations to generate constructive impacts in direction of financial development, social progress, and enhanced resilience to local weather change.
A selected demand might be for wealthier international locations to make good on their $100 billion annual local weather finance dedication and on the doubling of adaptation help to $40 billion by 2025 agreed to in Glasgow final yr throughout COP26.
Among the many different concrete proposals to be strongly canvassed at COP27 is the institution and activation inside the subsequent 5 years of an early warning system for local weather emergencies that will cowl the entire world.
One other is a pipeline of bankable climate-smart initiatives (round 400) in areas equivalent to agriculture, vitality, transportation, digital applied sciences and platforms, and natural merchandise. There will even be a lot consideration to choices and actions, particularly financing, to handle ‘loss and injury’ which can be past international locations’ talents to deal with.
Sierra Leone, like many growing international locations, is immediately beset by a multi-faceted disaster of meals insecurity, near-debt misery, galloping value of residing, and vitality deficit which can be limiting consideration to the clear and current hazard posed by the local weather disaster to humanity.
However, provided that the prevailing challenges can’t be addressed with presently obtainable growth finance and traditional methods of doing issues, now’s the time for the nation to maximally exploit alternatives to profit from progressive local weather finance and sustainability options.
There should be a shift in coverage mindset in direction of built-in approaches that concurrently handle two or extra points associated to livelihoods, employment technology, human capital growth, public well being, environmental safety, gender equality, meals safety, and vitality entry.
One easy instance is photo voltaic vitality interventions that instantly hyperlink with improved agro-processing operations, potable water sources, well being care supply, and Web connectivity for secondary faculties in focused districts.
Much more progressive and impressive nature-positive examples of built-in sustainable growth options might be highlighted, mentioned, and promoted at COP27.
As the highest UN chief in Sierra Leone, a key a part of my position has been to convey collectively a various set of stakeholders together with the nationwide authorities, worldwide organizations and companions from throughout civil society to advance dialogue on local weather motion and map out the nation’s shared objectives forward COP27.
Earlier final month, I convened a Local weather Motion Dialogue along with the Authorities of Sierra Leone, the UK Excessive Fee and the European Union to strengthen the participation and improve the coordination of Sierra Leone’s high-level delegation to COP27.
This Dialogue was born out of discussions I had with the British Authorities – who held the Presidency of the earlier UN Local weather Convention- COP26 in Glasgow final yr.
Constructing on the momentum from Glasgow, I carried on these discussions with the British Authorities and European Union this yr to develop a various program of audio system for the Local weather Motion Dialogue, which highlighted key priorities and potential actions for the non-public sector, NGOs, growth companions, and authorities.
By convening these high authorities in Sierra Leone collectively, this Dialogue helped focus efforts on the concrete methods Sierra Leone might leverage its spectacular pure property (together with forests, agricultural property, water sources, biodiversity, and photo voltaic endowment) to generate entry to local weather finance and advance nature-based options for driving its financial restoration and long-term growth plan.
The Dialogue additionally offered an vital platform for stakeholders to debate how Sierra Leone may gain advantage extra from world local weather funds. Forward of this engagement, my crew on the Resident Coordinator’s Workplace ready a Local weather Motion Partnerships Temporary that was offered to all attendees.
It was clear from these open discussions and constructive exchanges that Sierra Leone’s wealthy pure sources could possibly be higher used to leverage the finance and applied sciences the nation wants for inclusive, inexperienced, and sustainable financial development, reasonably than exporting key sources cheaply as major merchandise.
Discussions are actually underway between the three internet hosting growth partners- the UN, UK, and EU- to plan follow-up occasions which delve deeper into particular areas of Sierra Leone’s local weather commitments.
It’s our hope that Sierra Leone’s participation in COP27 (which concludes November 18) will assist to fast-track implementation of the essential subsequent steps agreed on the Dialogue associated to local weather finance fashions, and immediate the fast scaling up of ongoing climate-smart initiatives across the nation.
This contains forest conservation, photo voltaic and hydro vitality technology and distribution, fisheries and coastal administration, and agriculture and agro-processing. It also needs to strengthen dedication to ship on the promise the nation has made to finish deforestation by 2030.
As with the remainder of the world, local weather change is affecting each side of the Sierra Leonean financial system and society. COP27 will due to this fact additionally serve to underline for everybody the truth that pressing local weather motion isn’t the duty of presidency alone.
So, we encourage delegates to the Convention, not solely from authorities, but in addition from civil society organizations, the non-public sector, mass media, worldwide growth companies, and better academic establishments, to return to the nation with renewed dedication and ambition to hitch arms to pursue pressing local weather actions and interact totally on local weather finance.
Solely on this manner, can the nation actually handle the local weather disaster in a way that safeguards nationwide environmental sources, builds resilience to climate-related shocks, and advances sustainable growth that leaves nobody behind.
Babatunde A. Ahonsi is UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone.
Supply: UN Sustainable Growth Group
IPS UN Bureau
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