Sierra Leone: IOM and Government Hold Round Table Discussion on Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation & Human Mobility
Freetown –– On 31st May, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Sierra Leone held a one-day roundtable discussion for piloting the IOM Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Integrated Human Mobility Assessment Tool in Sierra Leone. This is being delivered under the IOM’s regional project, “Implementing Global Policies on Environmental Migration and Disaster Displacement in West Africa” carried out together with the platform on Disaster Displacement and with support from the Government of France.
The project aims at assessing and identifying strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and opportunities across different capacity dimensions, and developing prioritized recommendations for policy and capacity development support. Also, it aims to strengthen the capacity of the Sierra Leone government and stakeholders to effectively address the mobility dimensions of environmental change and disasters in the country.
In his opening statement, the Head of Office at IOM Sierra Leone, Dr. James Bagonza said: “Taking note of the work that IOM does across the West African region, human mobility is at the center of migration challenges, especially when dealing with disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Strengthening the existing policies and/or frameworks goes a long way in aligning the Integrated Human Mobility Assessment Tool in Sierra Leone” “Challenges regarding disaster risk reduction and climate are often complex and multi-dimensional thus creating difficulty in aligning strategies to adapt to this phenomenon.
With the help of experts, IOM will present to you its findings so far that have been gathered” he added. The tool that will be piloted consists of a set of different questions across different thematic areas. It has a standardized methodology to guide the implementation of integrated disaster risk reduction and climate change capacity assessments, that specifically examines the level of integration of human mobility aspects in national risk reduction and adaptation planning.
Speaking at the event, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Joseph Maurice Panda- Noah said that the round table discussion is very timely and relevant especially at a time when the country is trying to address challenges around issues relating to climate change and migration. “As a result of climate change effects, some areas in the north of the country experienced transhumance. Recently, this has triggered conflict among cattle herders and crop owners in some villages. So, engagements like this are necessary to better inform and strengthen Government response to issues with regards environmental migration” the minister stated.