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The Honorable Member of Parliament for Constituency 99 representing the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party, Hon. Alimamy G. Kargbo has said in Parliament that the National Protected Area Authority and Conservation Trust Fund enactment into bill is geared towards promoting biodiversity conservation, wildlife management research, to provide for the sale of ecosystems services in the National Protected Areas, and to provide for other related matters.
Hon. Alimamy G. Kargbo described the National Protected Area Authority and Conservation Trust Fund Act as “good” as according to him it protects the land, adding that in some countries, people seek permission any time they want to cut down trees and that they also ensure that any removed are replaced. The bill, he further said, will promote eco-tourism, and that government will also generate revenue through ecosystem services and will, at the same time, attract foreign aid and assistance from donor agencies.
The MP went on to maintain that the enactment of the bill is a proactive effort made wherein mechanisms will be put in place to sensitize the public and bring on board all political actors and the local communities together with other stakeholders to promote socio-economic development programs in line with the country’s resaved land conservation campaign. A corporate body that is going to be set up, he said, will undertake programs regarding biodiversity gap analysis and preparing proposals for the establishment of new national protected areas.
According to Hon. Kargbo anyone found who contravenes any of the provisions of the Act shall be fined a sum not exceeding Le 5 million or a five-year imprisonment.
On his part, Hon. Eric Jumu, Member of Parliament representing the minority Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) said when one keenly studies biodiversity and other environmental laws, more needs to be done as the National Protected Area Authority Conservation Trust Fund must have structures put in place to implement the law, adding that a Trust Fund must be established.
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