Environmental Protection Agency (Sierra Leone)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 2008 through the Environmental Protection Agency Act (2008) and became operational in 2009. The EPA is housed within the President’s Office and is the main government agency in charge of all issues concerning the environment and climate change. The EPA was established with the goal of creating and enforcing a strict regulatory framework for environmental regulation in Sierra Leone. It has the mandate to coordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of national environmental policies, programmes and projects, including issuing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) licences.
Part of its mandate involves formulating a National Climate Change Policy and establishing a National Secretariat for Climate Change (NSCC), which became operational in 2012. The NSCC was set up to enable the government to access public sector funding from development partners for national climate change adaptation and mitigation programmes and actions, including for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and REDD+. Additionally, the NSCC has the responsibility to provide guidance and direction for the formulation of the national climate change policy and strategies and the regulation of climate and carbon trading issues in Sierra Leone.
The EPA is implementing the EU funded Environmental Governance and Mainstreaming project, which involves looking at a complete legal review of legal frameworks concerning the environment, natural resource management and climate change. A technical advisory team has been set up to manage this task. The EPA liaises with the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) when it comes to ensuring companies that acquire concessions in forest areas also carry out the required EIAs. The EPA is collaborating with the Forestry Division on a number of issues related to environmental regulation in forest concession areas, and most notably on matters related to carbon financing in the forestry sector.