UNEP Chief Legal Officer Pays Courtesy Call on Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

).  The Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Dr. Gilbert M. Bankobeza accompanied by staff of the Environment Protection Agency-Sierra Leone (EPA-SL) has paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Alie Kabba at his Tower Hill office, Freetown.

The aim of the visit is to brief the Minister on the significance for Sierra Leone to ratify the Kigali Amendments to the Montreal Protocol on the Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and to further draw Government’s attention through the Minister to ratify and/or amend five other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

Dr. Gilbert M. Bankobeza informed Dr. Alie Kabba that the Kigali Amendment is an amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer of which Sierra Leone became a party in 2001. The amendment, he said, adds powerful greenhouse gases Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to the list of substances controlled under the Protocol to be phased down.

On the benefits that Sierra Leone will derive from the Kigali Amendment, the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer underscored that after ratification the country will benefit from some key programmes on the environment that are being designed by UNEP and its partners with the aim of achieving coherent international decision-making processes and effective management of the environment. “By ratifying the Kigali Amendment, Sierra Leone would be required to meet its obligations under the provisions of the amendment and at the same time gain support needed, technical and financial, for the various regulatory bodies involved in the management control and protection of our environment”, he added. “The Kigali Amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2019, provided that it is ratified by at least 20 parties to the Montreal Protocol’, Dr. Gilbert M. Bankobeza concluded.

On behalf of His Excellency, Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the people of Sierra Leone, Dr. Alie Kabba welcomed the UN envoy noting that President Julius Maada Bio, during the State opening of Parliament in May this year, emphasized the need to pay attention to quality health, improved sanitation, and sound environmental management. These are the key considerations under the Kigali Amendment, the Montreal Protocol and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), Dr. Kabba added. The Minister also added that the ratification of relevant MEAs will therefore demonstrate the New Direction Government’s commitment to Climate Diplomacy, which is all about protecting Human Health and Environment.

  The Foreign Minister therefore assured the UNEP envoy of his Ministry’s commitment, collaboration and cooperation with other MDAs including EPA-SL to determine the way forward following this engagement.

Present were:  the Director General and Ambassador-At-Large, Paul A.S. Minah; the Director for Compliance and Human Rights, Hassan Morlai Koroma; EPA-SL Officials, Alie D. Jalloh and other officers.