Gambia only country globally that submitted NDC to UNFCC

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By: Aja Musu Bah-Daffeh

The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and National Resources, Lamin Dibba affirmed that in 2020 September, The Gambia was the only country in the world out of 200 countries that have submitted the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Paris compliant in September 2020.

He added that the NDC was submitted and reviewed due to the efforts of the government and the citizens at large in ensuring that there is a sustainable development in the Gambia.

His remarks were made at the presentation of the years ended 2018 to 2019 Activity Report and Financial Statement of the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Monday 17th December, 2022 to the Public Enterprise Committee of the National Assembly.

Explaining the genesis of the National Environment Management Act (NEMA) as a member, Minister Dibba factored out the sustainable development the agency plays in the environment.

Asserting how NEMA have provided the establishment of the NEA, Mr. Dibba said that the circumstances leading to the special arrangement for NEA occurred after the Rio Conference in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, he said the world leaders at the time felt that the environment is being degraded and without environment there could be no meaningful sustainable development.

To give importance to the environment and sustainable development, he added that there must be the executive powers behind the setting up of regulatory agencies to regulate the activities of different sectors, ranging from the private sectors, the public sectors as well as the civil societies.

He said “this was why under the NEA, we have the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation 2014 in order to ensure that the functions of the agency will protect the environment and the public from health hazards coming from the industries, the private sector and that is why adequate mitigating measures are put in place to ensure that whatever happens in the environment is there to support the lives and livelihoods of the general public”. 

The environment minister affirmed that with the said regulation meeting in 2014, all member countries were asked to establish the regulatory agencies under to purview of the Office pf the President whereby, that President need to establish a council that will oversee the functions of the agency.  

He expressed that they have embarked on a series of reforms such as legislative reforms, institutional reforms in order to ensure that they capture the realities of the environment.

The institutional agreement for the implementation of functions of the agency, Lamin Dibba said that they have already started the reform process wherein the document is already reviewed which is now at the Ministry of Justice.

The Chairperson of PEC, Hon. Halifa Sallah dilated on how the Agency should create structures in enhancing policies that will promote environmental and sustainable development in the country, adding that NEA is a brain child of the National Environment Management Act, noting that the Act creates a unique governance environment.

 Stating the functions of the council, Hon. Sallah stated that the council is established under section (5) of the National Environment Management Act that it shall be the policy making organ of the agency to coordinate all the policies whether by government or the private sector, which he said are likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

For the integration of the environmental considerations in all aspects of social and economic crime, PEC Chairman stressed that it harmonizes the plans and policies of various sectors dealing with the environment and approve all environmental plans and polices, promote the use of renewable sources of energy and the conservation of the traditional sources supervise the work of the agency.

“The Agency should implement the policies of the council on the environment and liaise with various ministries, departments, agencies of government and all issues relating to the environment and ensure environmental concerns are integrated in all spares of national planning and project implementation,” PEC Chairman stated.

Furthermore, Hon. Sallah continued that the agency should also liaise with the private sector, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies of other status on all issues relating to the environment.

He emphasized that the agency should prepare proposals for environmental policies and strategies for the council as well as initiate legislative proposals, guidelines and regulations in accordance with the provision of the aforesaid Act and therefore, he added that to review and approve environmental impact assessments submitted in accordance with the Act or any other law.

“They should promote public awareness on environmental issues through gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about the environment and to also be publishing periodic report on the state of the environment, thus, the agency has tremendous powers to protect the environment,” Hon. Sallah stated

His remarks were made at the presentation of the years ended 2018 to 2019 Activity Report and Financial Statement of the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Monday 17th December, 2022 to the Public Enterprise Committee of the National Assembly.

Explaining the genesis of the National Environment Management Act (NEMA) as a member, Minister Dibba factored out the sustainable development the agency plays in the environment.

Asserting how NEMA have provided the establishment of the NEA, Mr. Dibba said that the circumstances leading to the special arrangement for NEA occurred after the Rio Conference in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, he said the world leaders at the time felt that the environment is being degraded and without environment there could be no meaningful sustainable development.

To give importance to the environment and sustainable development, he added that there must be the executive powers behind the setting up of regulatory agencies to regulate the activities of different sectors, ranging from the private sectors, the public sectors as well as the civil societies.

He said “this was why under the NEA, we have the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation 2014 in order to ensure that the functions of the agency will protect the environment and the public from health hazards coming from the industries, the private sector and that is why adequate mitigating measures are put in place to ensure that whatever happens in the environment is there to support the lives and livelihoods of the general public”. 

The environment minister affirmed that with the said regulation meeting in 2014, all member countries were asked to establish the regulatory agencies under to purview of the Office pf the President whereby, that President need to establish a council that will oversee the functions of the agency.  

He expressed that they have embarked on a series of reforms such as legislative reforms, institutional reforms in order to ensure that they capture the realities of the environment.

The institutional agreement for the implementation of functions of the agency, Lamin Dibba said that they have already started the reform process wherein the document is already reviewed which is now at the Ministry of Justice.

The Chairperson of PEC, Hon. Halifa Sallah dilated on how the Agency should create structures in enhancing policies that will promote environmental and sustainable development in the country, adding that NEA is a brain child of the National Environment Management Act, noting that the Act creates a unique governance environment.

 Stating the functions of the council, Hon. Sallah stated that the council is established under section (5) of the National Environment Management Act that it shall be the policy making organ of the agency to coordinate all the policies whether by government or the private sector, which he said are likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

For the integration of the environmental considerations in all aspects of social and economic crime, PEC Chairman stressed that it harmonizes the plans and policies of various sectors dealing with the environment and approve all environmental plans and polices, promote the use of renewable sources of energy and the conservation of the traditional sources supervise the work of the agency.

“The Agency should implement the policies of the council on the environment and liaise with various ministries, departments, agencies of government and all issues relating to the environment and ensure environmental concerns are integrated in all spares of national planning and project implementation,” PEC Chairman stated.

Furthermore, Hon. Sallah continued that the agency should also liaise with the private sector, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies of other status on all issues relating to the environment.

He emphasized that the agency should prepare proposals for environmental policies and strategies for the council as well as initiate legislative proposals, guidelines and regulations in accordance with the provision of the aforesaid Act and therefore, he added that to review and approve environmental impact assessments submitted in accordance with the Act or any other law.

“They should promote public awareness on environmental issues through gathering, analyzing and disseminating information about the environment and to also be publishing periodic report on the state of the environment, thus, the agency has tremendous powers to protect the environment,” Hon. Sallah stated

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