A persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) training will end today at the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment.
“This meeting is basically on the environment,” said Brima Rogers, the permanent secretary in the ministry.
He pointed out that the ministry was now looking at the new environmental laws, analyze the role of the ministry and chart out a way to implement these laws.
The permanent secretary stated that, “Sierra Leone is a global village and whatever is done in the country in respect to the environment, the impact is being felt all over the world”.
The minister of Lands, Country Planning & Environment, Mr Benjamin Davies who has taken a week in office said the meeting was to lay the foundation for successful development of the national Implementation Plan (NIP) for sustainable implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants that would benefit present generations and those yet to come.
The minister said, “there is no doubt that issues of the environment are increasingly receiving greater accent by the global community”.
Mr Davies pointed out that, “our zealous/insatiable and sometimes greedy pursuit of the comforts and luxury in the name of development has most times left us blind to the delicate nature of our environment and therefore the need to protect its integrity.”
The minister said the development front that had achieved the most spectacular results was the production, use and management of chemicals.
He noted that there had been serious side effects of the use of chemicals-as manifested by the negative impacts on human and animal health arising from high incidence of relatively new health conditions such as tumors and cancers, deformities in newly-born babies, nervous and psychiatric disease, caused by conscious and unconscious ingestion of unpalatable chemicals or palatable chemicals above unacceptable limits. Mr Davies said Sierra Leone being a party to the Stockholm Convention on implementation plan of the convention showed the government commitment in sound chemical and environmental management.
The minister said the focus of NIP would be in line with the country’s national development plans including the poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) of 2004 and vision 2025, both of which call for improvement of quality of life and social well being.
“Sierra Leone will be receiving enormous benefits from the implementation of the convention”, he revealed while thanking UNIDO for overseeing and directing the activities in putting together the implementation plan and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for providing the funds for the entire exercise.