By Aaron Bundu Lahai-Head of Media
The Conservation Trust Fund (CTF) through the Ministry of Environment has launched the Conservation Trust Fund 2021-2025 Strategic Plan at the Bank Complex in Kingtom, Freetown on the theme: “Conserving Our Natural Resources”. The Strategic Plan was formally launched by the Honourable Vice President of Sierra Leone Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh. While launching the Strategic Plan, Vice President Jalloh described the ceremony as a demonstration of commitment by the New Direction government, Dr. Jalloh added that the launched of the Strategic Plan shows that government takes environmental issues seriously. Vice President Jalloh noted that the Strategic Plan is about operationalizing the functions of the Conservation Trust Fund, and to enable the Fund to work.
Vice President Jalloh lamented that the four pillars constitute the nexus of the Trust Fund. He explained nexus among the pillars to mean the use of governance aspect to guide the resource mobilization. The four pillars of the Strategic Plan are governance, resource mobilization, strategic partnership, and programme development.
Vice President Jalloh expressed his impression with the inclusion of Strategic Partnership as one of the pillars in the Strategic Plan. Vice President Jalloh commended the Conservation Trust Fund for a partnership that is driven by civil society. He encouraged the Conservation Trust Fund to partner with other ministries like mines and water resources among others to generate more revenue and protect the environment. Vice President Jalloh maintained that the partnership between the Fund and the Ministry of Mines is important. He stated that the partnership between the Ministries of Environment and Mines will strengthen and support the Environment Ministry to improve on the little commitment made by mining companies on environment who pays money to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“The rationale for the establishment of the Conservation Trust Fund is for Government of Sierra Leone to generate necessary resources”, Vice President Jalloh said. Vice President Jalloh reiterated that the Sierra Leone Government established the Conservation Trust Fund to support Government driven programmes, and other nationwide conservation programmes.
Professor Foday Moriba Jaward, the Minister of Environment stressed on the crucial role of the Strategic Plan, he noted that the Strategic Plan has qualities embedded in the Conservation Trust Fund that will move forward the Fund for the next five years. Professor Jaward encouraged the public to obey environmental laws, he further informed the participants about the copious environmental crimes committed by the public.
The European Union Ambassador to Sierra Leone Tom Vens called on Sierra Leoneans to preserve the natural resources. Ambassador Vens stated that this is needed to be done in order for Sierra Leone to continue receiving the ecosystem services, such as water, clean air and a sustainable supply of food and energy. Ambassador Vens informed the meeting about the alignment of Sierra Leone’s approach to biodiversity and environmental protection with the European Green Deal, which lays the foundation for Sierra Leone and the European Union external cooperation policy.