The National Commission on the Environment and Forestry (NaCEF) in collaboration with the World Bank has hosted a one day workshop at the Kenema District Council hall to discuss the environmental safeguard policies of Sierra Leone Wild life Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Project (WPBCP).
Chairing the occasion the Resident Minister East, Sahr Randolph Fillie Faboe explained to his audience that the government through the National Commission for the Environment and Forestry (NaCEF) and the Wildlife Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Secretariat, wishes to protect wildlife, and conserve the biodiversity in some selected protected area sites (PAS) as a pilot programme.
He appealed to the community to fully cooperate with them for the benefit of the entire nation particularly the Gola family communities.
Presenting the environmental safeguard policies, the Consultant Dr. Ernest T. Ndomahina pointed out that some of the remaining forest and animals in the country must be protected for all and for generations yet unborn.
He says the objective of the sub-component is to reduce dependencies of communities living in the fringes of the selected system (PAS) on natural resources exploitation by providing them with resources for developing alternative sources of income and livelihood support system.
Project funds will finance investments proposed by rural communities in targeted Protected Area sites (PAS) and buffer zones in support of improved management and conservation of natural resources and Biodiversity. GE and Grand Funds will finance the provision of alternative and viable choices of the people to participate in economic development, expand opportunities, economic growth, create jobs, reduce their levels of poverty, and improve their livelihood.
He reminded them about the laws protecting the forest and pointed out that the climatic failure lies on the activities of the community people.
In the Protected Areas nobody is allowed to farm, hunt, live in the forest, log or mine in the forest within the Protected Area. Those settlements within the protected Area will be relocated and compensated for he said.
The three papers – Environmental Assessment, Resettlement Policy frame work and Process frame work papers were adopted by the stakeholders at the workshop.