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Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is the mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, where tackling environmental degradation and climate resilience are among her priorities. That includes appointing the city’s first—and indeed, Africa’s first—Chief Heat Officer in 2021. And this year she announced the city’s first Climate Action Plan. “What we’ve done with the climate action plan is … to look more broadly at all the factors that are causing climate change, but also the effects of climate change on our daily lives and to look at how we can work together with our communities to address them,” Aki-Sawyerr said. That means collaborating with the government, NGOs, the private sector, and residents to stand up to the challenges of climate change.

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