China’s deal to build a fishing harbor in Sierra Leone’s rainforest faces resistance

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 01 Jun 2021, 07:56 am Print

China’s deal to build a fishing harbor in Sierra Leone’s rainforest faces resistance Sierra Leone Rainforest

Image: Unsplash

Conservationists, human rights and animal welfare groups, and local landowners have started protesting against Sierra Leone government's plan of selling 250 acres of pristine beach and rainforest to China in a $55 million deal that would see an industrial fishing harbor built on the site, media reports said.

According to a CNBC report, the protesting groups have said the project would “destroy pristine rainforest, plunder fish stocks, pollute the marine environment and five individual eco systems that are fish breeding grounds and support endangered bird and wildlife species.”

Local public policy research organizations the Institute for Legal Research and Advocacy for Justice (ILRAJ) and Namati Sierra Leone have written to the government requesting information on “plans to establish a fish harbour and carry out waste management operations at Black Johnson in the Western Area peninsula, a project funded by the Government of China.”

The groups are requesting copies of legally-mandated environmental and social impact assessments, along with the grant agreement between China and the Sierra Leonean government, reports CNBC.

Greenpeace Africa condemned the deal and tweeted: "Fishing communities in West Africa are already experiencing the effects of environmental degradation and the climate crisis. Permitting more extractive activities in this region will only worsen the situation."

Another group Custodian of Environment posted, "Environmental superheros needed. Black Johnson Beach to be turned into a toxic industrial fish farm unless we fight back."