The Delegation of the European Union to Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Sierra Leone School Green Club (SLSGC) will on Monday 6th June 2022, organise a youth climate poetry and arts competition for Senior Secondary Schools, to raise awareness on the impact of climate change and environmental degradation in Sierra Leone, as part of celebrations marking World Environment Day 2022.
The presentation of poems and artwork produced by the students will take place at the Freetown City Council Auditorium during which the winning entries will be announced and prizes presented. Ten Senior Secondary schools in Freetown will take part in the competition, which will be judged by a panel of accomplished Sierra Leonean artists.
Fighting climate change and promoting environmental sustainability is one of the priorities of the European Union. In Sierra Leone, many of the natural ecosystems are losing their ability to provide the livelihood services required by the population, hence the urgent need for halting and reversing environmental degradation in all the key ecosystems (forest, coastal, maritime) in the country.
For this reason, the European Union (EU) is supporting Sierra Leone School Green Club to highlight the importance of everyone actively contributing to the protection of the environment and to raise awareness on the consequences of environmental degradation and climate change on the population, as the schoolchildren who will participate in the competition are doing. This demonstrates that youth have a critical role to play in the climate discourse by not only raising their voices but also actively engaging in awareness raising to foster the policy changes required to mitigate climate change and develop climate resilience.
“EU strongly believes that the future of our planet is in young people’s hands – and many are taking action to tackle the impacts of climate change and environmental challenges. Young people are finding their voice in demanding more climate action from decision-makers to protect their future,” says Ambassador Manuel Müller, Head of EU Delegation to Sierra Leone.
The EU will continue to work with the Government and people of Sierra Leone to tackle the climate, biodiversity, environment and pollution challenges, with a strong focus on nature protection and restoration, in line with the European Green Deal, which is one of the main pillars of EU partnership with Sierra Leone, as reflected in the Multi Annual Indicative Programme (MIP) for cooperation between the European Union and Sierra Leone for the period 2021/2027.
The EU is currently supporting different environmental and biodiversity initiatives from national and regional programmes, targeting more than 80% of all protected areas of Sierra Leone in the following geographical areas:
– Kambui Hills National Park;
– Outamba-Kilimi National Park;
– Management of Mangrove Forests (coastal landscapes from Senegal to Benin);
– Conservation of the Gola Forest Landscape (Sierra Leone and Liberia);
– Revision of National Determined Contribution (NDC);
– Blue carbon project in the mangrove forest of the Sherbro River.
The EU is also involved in a wide range of projects promoting green and sustainable agriculture, associated with fair trade and organic certification. The Arts and Poetry competition, which has as part of its objectives, creating artwork that will convey strong messages about climate change and its negative impact on the environment and the people, will be an occasion to showcase once again the EU’s commitment to fight climate change and promote environmental sustainability in Sierra Leone and across the world.