EFA’s Founder and Executive Director, Tommy Garnett , in September 2017, engaged with many Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone, at home and abroad, leading to the initiation a national movement #LandthatweloveSierraLeone.
The initial focus of #LandThatWeLoveSierraLeone’ was to host a photo exhibition series in different locations across Sierra Leone, starting in Western Area.
The exhibition was hosted at all of Sierra Leone’s Universities and Polytechnics and also targeted a range of audiences, (including Governmental Agencies, Private Sector; the Donor Community, Higher Civil Society Organisations, Urban and Peri-Urban Communities).
The exhibitions showed photo images of the Western Area Peninsula Forest and other critical ecosystems of Sierra Leone. The photo exhibitions, created an enabling platform for the kind of public dialogue that needed to be had, among the various sectors of society – where the difficult questions were asked in a public setting. These public debates and interactions led to the formulation of a Communique, signed by more than six thousand participants, demanding transformational change in the way we relate to nature and our environment in Sierra Leone.
Specifically, the Communique urged the government, citizens, international partners and all the friends of Sierra Leone, at home and abroad to take urgent steps necessary to endorse and implement the following:
I. Strict observance of the forest boundary/demarcations and enforcement of the laws banning the illegal sale of land and construction of houses in the Western Area Peninsula Forest National Park.
II. Immediate enforcement of all regulations governing the extraction of sand from beaches, protection of coastal areas, wetlands, creeks and other critical ecosystems in the Western Area
III. A national campaign to restore degraded areas and increase tree cover – ‘Every Child Plants a Tree’ in which every child (especially school children) in the country, plants one tree, as part of a national awareness initiative on the importance of trees and the value of forests.
You can view the #LTWL brochure here