By: Juliana Vandy
Strategic Communications Unit
Ministry of Information and Communications
A team from the British High Commission led by their Head of Communications Kaite Hanan on Thursday 26th August 2021, paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Mr Solomon Jamiru at his 8th floor Youyi Building office in Freetown.
The purpose of the visit according to Kaite Hanan was to find ways how the British High Commission will collaborate with the government of Sierra Leone through pertinent line ministries in popularizing the pre and post activities and outcomes of the forthcoming climate change conference COP 26 to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.
She said the collaboration will aim at raising awareness on the conference and what the country will be taking to the meeting, citing the impact of climate change, action taken as a country, and the prioritized areas where international bodies should pay attention to in Sierra Leone’s climate change situation.
She said the British High Commission is committed to supporting Sierra Leone in popularizing messages on climate change using all available media channels.
COP 26 is the 26th conference of the parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.
COP provides an opportunity to support national governments in meeting their National Determined Contributions or NDCs, demonstrate industry leadership and engage key stakeholders.
One of the visiting team members Gabriel Mannah Kpaka from the Sierra Leone Meteorological Agency explained that Sierra Leone has been participating in climate change activities since 1995 and that he attended one of such meetings recently in Poland. He said that actions of countries stem from such conferences because it is at such meetings that countries negotiate their circumstances and how climate change is affecting them. At the end mitigation mechanisms are chatted for countries based on their unique situations.
Previously, he noted, “after every conference, we do media engagements using the traditional media to inform the public about the outcomes." But this time, he went on, “the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the Meteorological Agency want to fully involve the Ministry of Information and Communications in the outreach process because there are complex issues for which he said, they will need technical support to enhance the process.”
He disclosed that at this year’s conference the intention is for Sierra Leone to have a pavilion, owned by the government of Sierra Leone, to showcase documentaries on what actions have been taken to address issues of climate change. Documentaries from concerned sectors like energy, environment and disaster management will be showcased.
Addressing the team, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Solomon Jamiru Esq. said the government of Sierra Leone is working with the British High Commission on issues of communications on climate change.
He said nations around the world will be going o COP 26 to set new ambitions and Sierra Leone will be part of that conference. “As a country, we look forward to the conference itself,” said the Deputy Minister.
He emphasized that communication is one of the overarching tools to reach the global stage and make a compelling case on climate change.
He maintained that the formulation of a communications strategy around issues of climate change is very essential in order to realize the objective. That is why, the meeting with the British High Commission, EPA, Meteorological Agency, State House is vital and affirmed his ministry’s commitment in providing exclusive public education and sensitization with support from the technical bodies.