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Sierra Leone

Climate Change (SL0017)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sierra Leone National Action Plan 2016-2018

Action Plan Cycle: 2016

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Environment Protection Agency

Support Institution(s): Meteorological Department, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Water resources, Marine, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Mines, Tourism, Energy; Civil Society Advocacy Network on Climate Change and Environment - Sierra Leone Federation

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Environment and Climate, Open Data, Public Participation, Records Management

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sierra Leone Mid-Term Report 2016-2018

Starred: No

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Status quo or problem/ issue to be addressed
Citizens do not have access to climate change information and are not part of the process in developing climate change policy and data.
Main objective
Providing user-friendly data and information regarding climate-related action.
Brief Description of Commitment (140 character limit)
This commitment is geared towards empowering the citizen with climate change information in an open data format and also track the policy implementation on gas targets, renewable energy, and forest restoration, clean mobility, green buildings, and other policy goals and targets.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

6. Climate Change

Commitment Text:

This commitment is geared towards empowering the citizen with climate change information in an open data format and also track the policy implementation on gas targets, renewable energy, and forest restoration, clean mobility, green buildings, and other policy goals and targets.

Milestones:

Creating a user-friendly public tool to track policy implementation with critical milestones in specific sectors. Country and national actors could commit to track policies through a central database that showcases progress on commitments, including toward specific greenhouse gas targets, renewable energy, and forest restoration, clean mobility, green buildings, and other policy goals and targets. Making use of MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) systems.

Public consultation with MDAs, CSOs and local councils on how to develop monitoring tools (4 consultations)

System Investigation and design to identify measurable indicators and show the information flow.

Desk Review of relevant data from the various sectors.

Generate report from the monitoring, reporting and verification system on half yearly basis.

Undertake yearly climate change greenhouse gas inventory

Providing adequate and relevant climate information to the public at the policy and project levels (reactively and proactively) with a focus on usability, accessibility and publicity

Awareness raising activities on climate change impact through the media and stakeholders (radio monthly and TV quarterly)

Development of quarterly newsletter and brochures on specific climate-related and thematic-related

Simplify the format of relevant climate change documents such as the climate change policy and the national climate change strategy and action plan disseminated to the public

Providing web based information on climate data working closely with the Department of Meteorology, Ministry of Transportation and Aviation (half yearly)

Making use of the early warning project supported by GEF and implemented by UNDP to release information or datasets in open data formats and web-based to meet the requirements of the Doha Plan of Action that would help educate, empower and engage all stakeholders.

· Collaboration with the relevant MDAs, CBOs, CSOs and other NGOs to develop the relevant tools required to raise awareness and promote environmental education

· Desk review of the information provided and system analysis

· Development of web based platform and making the platform public

· Call for proposal for GEF small grant projects to raise awareness by CSOs for climate change

Responsible institution: Environmental Protection Agency

Supporting institution(s): Meteorological Department, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, Water Resources, Mines, Marine, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Tourism, and Energy.

Start date: July 2016 End date: June 2018

Context and Objectives

Sierra Leone is particularly sensitive to climate changes and ranks in the top 10 in most vulnerable countries.[Note96: Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas 2015, https://maplecroft.com/portfolio/new-analysis/2014/10/29/climate-change-and-lack-food-security-multiply-risks-conflict-and-civil-unrest-32-countries-maplecroft/] To address this vulnerability, the Environmental Protection Agency of Sierra Leone established the National Secretariat for Climate Change (NSCC) in 2012, which enables government to access public funding related to climate change issues, as well as guides the formulation of climate policies and programmes.[Note97: Environmental Protection Agency, Sierra Leone, https://epa.gov.sl/] That same year, the United Nations (UN) hosted a climate change conference in Doha, which focused on the implementation of agreements reached at previous conferences, and opening the way for greater ambitions and actions at all levels on climate change.[Note98: Summary of the Doha Climate Change Conference, enb.iisd.org/vol12/enb12567e.html ] As a result, Sierra Leone began participation in the regional UN Development Programme (UNDP) Early Warning Systems project in 2013, aimed at improving climate monitoring and warning through specific interventions, such as enhancing environmental monitoring infrastructure and strengthening capacity of the Sierra Leone Meteorological Department.[Note99: Climate Information and Early Warning Systems, http://www.sl.undp.org/content/sierraleone/en/home/operations/projects/environment_and_energy/strengthening-climate-information-and-early-warning-systems-for-.html ] The National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan published in 2015 articulates further efforts Sierra Leone is taking to address climate change.[Note100: Standard Times Press, http://standardtimespress.org/?p=6131 ]

Despite these efforts, there is little citizen involvement due in part to the fact that governmental actions related to climate change have not been publicly communicated.[Note101: IRM researcher’s interview of the Director, Center of Dialogue on Human Settlement and Poverty Alleviation, 17 October 2017; and consensus opinion at the civil society stakeholder meeting of 20 October 2017.] In addition, civil society leaders say climate change information can be technical and challenging for the public to understand.[Note102: Ibid. ] This commitment aims to improve public access to information related to climate change by providing user- friendly data and information on climate change and related matters. It seeks to publish climate change information in open data format, allowing to track the implementation of policy on various climate change issues such as forest restoration, and renewable energy. The commitment is relevant to OGP’s value of access to information because government-held information on climate change challenges and impact in Sierra Leone will be given to the public. The commitment is also relevant to OGP’s value of civic participation because citizens will use the public consultations to contribute to climate change mitigation discussions. If fully implemented, the commitment can have a moderate impact as it would allow citizens to have access to government-held information on climate change challenges and impact and contribute to discussions on climate change.

Completion

Overall, the commitment has had limited progress, with only one milestone being substantially completed.

Preliminary actions have been taken to support the development of the user-friendly database on climate change. The public consultations have not yet been held because, according to the head of the Climate Change Secretariat, they want to first provide context for the public monitoring tools. The Secretariat conducted trainings for various government agencies, non-governmental organisations, and private sector institutions involved with climate change activities. One training in March 2017 was on climate change monitoring, reporting and verification and another was on indicators for measuring progress on climate change policy.[Note103: IRM researcher’s interview of Head of Climate Change Secretariat, 19 October 2017.] The Secretariat plans to build on these efforts in 2018 and begin receiving information from collaborating institutions.[Note104: Ibid.] The progress on other activities related to this milestone such as system identification, desk review or the greenhouse inventory is unclear.

Substantial efforts have been made related to providing climate change information to the public. Brochures have been developed and circulated to organisations around the country. One of the public education brochures describes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the key findings of the Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change, including observed changes, causes, and climate change mitigation options and recommendations. The EPA has, since 2016, been producing monthly television programmes on climate change. The agency also held a one-day forum in July 2017, which aimed to popularise the current climate change policy developed by the NSCC.[Note105: Sierra Leone News, http://awoko.org/2017/08/01/sierra-leone-news-climate-change-issues-part-of-the-policy/ ] The EPA originally produced a quarterly printed newsletter, but discontinued it and did not provide a justification to the researcher. A non-governmental organisation working on human settlement and environmental issues acknowledged the public education work that EPA did.[Note106: IRM researcher’s interview of the Director, Center of Dialogue on Human Settlement and Poverty Alleviation, 17 October 2017.] The NGO considered the work to be relevant in mobilising the population to action on climate change.

It is unclear whether any progress has been made to meet the requirements of the Doha Plan of Action. The Climate Change Secretariat was unaware of how this commitment leverages the UNDP early warning system project. There is no evidence of a web-based platform specifically related to the early warning systems projects. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) small grants programme began in Sierra Leone in 2013, but there is no evidence that it has offered any grants that specifically relate to CSOs raising awareness to the public.[Note107: Global Environment Facility, http://www.thegef.org/news/gef-sgp-launched-sierra-leone]

Early Results (if any)

Citizens have been given information on climate change through various media for the first time. Civil society participants at a stakeholder meeting say that much of what they know comes from the public education work of the Environmental Protection Agency.[Note108: Stakeholder meeting of civil society organisations on the OGP organized by the researcher on 20 October, 2017. ] The head of a non-governmental organisation working on human settlement and environmental issues acknowledged that the public education work on climate change by a government agency was helping to close gaps in people’s knowledge about climate change.[Note109: IRM researcher’s interview of the Director, Center of Dialogue on Human Settlement and Poverty, 17 October 2017.]

Next Steps

The IRM Researcher recommends:

The climate change policy that has been simplified should be circulated as public information.

The newsletter should be produced quarterly including online and report the results of government agencies’ climate change monitoring and reporting in order to verify proposed activities.

Articulate how the activities of the third milestone relate to the Doha Plan of Action and continue efforts related to developing a web-based platform to share early warning systems information with the public.

While the different responsible agencies continue the climate monitoring, reporting and verification activities, the outcomes and meteorological data should continue to be reported to the public through existing media.


Sierra Leone's Commitments

  1. Gender

    SL0012, 2016, Capacity Building

  2. Foriegn Aid Transparency

    SL0013, 2016, Aid

  3. Waste Management

    SL0014, 2016, Capacity Building

  4. Fiscal Transparency and Open Budget

    SL0015, 2016, E-Government

  5. Audit Report

    SL0016, 2016, Audits and Controls

  6. Climate Change

    SL0017, 2016, Capacity Building

  7. Elections

    SL0018, 2016, E-Government

  8. Record Archive Management

    SL0019, 2016, E-Government

  9. Access to Justice

    SL0020, 2016, Capacity Building

  10. Open Public Procurement Contracting

    SL0021, 2016, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  11. Publish and Revise 70% of Mining and Agricultural Lease Agreements and Contracts

    SL0009, 2014, E-Government

  12. Starred commitment Right to Access Information Law

    SL0010, 2014, Capacity Building

  13. Open Data Portal for Transparency in Fiscal and Extractive Transactions

    SL0011, 2014, E-Government

  14. Public Integrity Pact with 5 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies

    SL0001, 2014, Conflicts of Interest

  15. Archives and Records Management Act

    SL0002, 2014, E-Government

  16. Scale Up Performance Management and Service Delivery Directorate

    SL0003, 2014, Public Participation

  17. Compliance with Audit Measures

    SL0004, 2014, Audits and Controls

  18. Starred commitment Single Treasure Account

    SL0005, 2014, Extractive Industries

  19. Extractive Industry Revenue Act

    SL0006, 2014, Extractive Industries

  20. Scaling Up Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives

    SL0007, 2014, Extractive Industries

  21. Local Content Policy (LCP) Linkages with MDAs

    SL0008, 2014, Capacity Building