By Madiba Singhateh
The Gambia government together with the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Parks and Wildlife of The Gambia last Thursday launched a project totaling US $5m.
The money is allocated by the Global Environment Fund to The Gambia for land/seascape planning and ecosystem restoration.
Held at a local hotel at Senegambia, the project is being implemented by NEA and it will be implemented in the Central River Region (C.R.R) in Kuntaur Area Council.
Its objective is to create an enabling environment for The Gambia in building national capacity to lead the reform on land use and marine spatial planning policies. It also aims to implement land/sea level management that conserves ecosystem services in a productive and protected landscape.
The project will also contribute to the removal of barriers to sustainable land management, biodiversity management, and integrated natural resources management in The Gambia. It is also aimed at enhancing participation of local communities and local government authorities, the stepping stone of its intervention strategy and will place particular emphasis on the integration of gender dimension.
Bubacar Zaidi Jallow, the Director of the Central Coordinator Unit speaking on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Lamin Dibba, said the fund for this year’s project is US$5.6 million from the allocation in GEF funding cycle 6. He said they are currently in GEF cycle 7.
“The project is largely limited to the Kuntaur Area Council in the Central River Region as a pilot aimed at enhancing capacity for the planning and implementation of policies and programs that benefit sustainable land seascape management. To achieve this goal, this project will undertake activities and actions that will build the capacity of relevant stakeholders to implement land and seascape level management that conserve ecosystem integrity, conservation, as well as service in productive and protected land and seascapes” he said.
Jallow said the goals will enable The Gambia to enhance the resilience of land and seascape ecosystems derived from these environments that benefit the social and economic sectors of the country and perhaps more significantly contribute towards the realization of key Sustainable Developments SDGs.