Sierra Leone joins the EPI
Her Excellency Madam Haddijatou Jallow of Sierra Leone easily stood out in the crowd of delegates attending the United Nations Environment Assembly 2 at the UNEP compound in Nairobi. Her imposing height, elegant African gowns, confident smile and sense of purpose as she strode between the various meeting rooms were impossible to miss. Madam Jallow was formally introduced to me by her Liberian counterpart as the Executive Chairperson the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in Sierra Leone. Her excellency made clear that Sierra Leone’s few remaining elephants are extremely valuable to the country and are treasured. She listened carefully as we talked about Liberia’s membership of the EPI and the work it is carrying out under the initiative. We also discussed the upcoming workshop on implementing the African Elephant Action Plan to be hosted by the EPI in Libreville, Gabon. She simply could not understand why Sierra Leone, although it had declared its support, had not yet joined as an EPI member. We immediately agreed on an appointment for the following day and Sierra Leone became the 13th member of the EPI on the 26th of May when a delighted Madam Jallow formally signed the EPI on behalf of her country.
Photo: H.E Madam Haddijatou Jallow, Minister of Environment, Government of Sierra Leone (Left) and Dr. Winnie Kiiru, EPI Senior Technical Advisor (right).