Gambia vows to mitigate climate change As coastal erosion expands
Sunday, April 19, 2009
In an attempt to mitigate climate change effects in West Africa, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has funded a sub-regional project in The Gambia.
Launched last week, the project is a major initiative to promote an effective response to climate change and push forward the requisite behaviour of government, corporations, non-profit making organisations and individuals.
The project will further focuse on ways and means to reverse the current trends of alterations in the coastal area. Entitled ‘‘Adaptation to Climate Change and Coastal Changes Project: Responding to Coastline Changes and its Human Dimensions in West Africa through Integrated Coastal Area Management’’ (ACCC), the sub-regional initiative is an important step towards solving climate change problems and involves six project proposals submitted by NGOs and CBOs in the Gambia, funded to the tune of $US150, 000.
Speaking on behalf of the secretary of state for Forestry and Environment, Permanent Secretary Nyada Baldeh stated that the Gambia’s coastline is generally low-lying with a dramatic perspective projecting the capital city Banjul to sink with a mere 1m rise in sea level. ‘‘The destruction of infrastructure aside, numerous livelihoods and economic activities will be lost, further entrenching poverty and seriously weakening the national economy.’’
According to Momodou B. Sarr, the Executive Director of the National Environmental Agency (NEA), this project will help to set out the most effective mechanisms of climate change. ‘‘The project offers a life-line to grap and reduce [the country’s] vulnerability to the effects of climate change, at the same time increasing adaptive capacity to climate change.
The NEA boss further pointed out that stakeholders’ particitation is sine qua non to the implementation of the projects. Isabelle Niang, an authoritative voice in the environment sector and the Regional Coordinator of the ACCC Project, said there is no doubt that climate change poses mounting challenges to Africa. ‘‘In Africa, of course The Gambia, climate change is already having profound and irreversible impacts on the continent’s economic, social and environmental systems,’’ she indicated.
According to her, this community driven collaborative project which is aimed at promoting the adaptative capacity to climate change of coastal ecosystems is indeed timely and will help to contribute to the attainment of the MDGs and PRSP as they relate to poverty reduction, health and enhancement of environmental sustainability.
Author: By Abdoulie John