Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MECCNAR) on
Tuesday Jan. 23, launched a six-year Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) project
at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
The EbA project is funded by Green Climate Fund (GCF) – the financing mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The sole objective of the project is to build the climate-resilience of rural Gambian communities and facilitate the development of a sustainable natural resource-based 9green) economy by implementing large-scale EbA within and adjacent to agricultural lands, community-managed forest reserves and wildlife conservation areas.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Lamin B. Dibba, minister of Environment, said that generally the EbA project was borne out of the realization that Gambian local communities and major economic sectors remain vulnerable under conditions of Climate Change.
“The EbA project shall rehabilitate up to 10,000 hectares of degraded forest and wildlife parks through reforestation enrichment planting, conservation of rare or endangered species as well as the restoration of 3,000 hectares of abandoned and marginal agricultural lands” he said.
When implemented as planned he stated that the EbA project shall directly benefit up to 11,550 households, with the potential to indirectly reach a further 46, 300 households in the four legal regions which include Upper River Region (North and South), Central River Region (North and South) and Lower River Region.
Emira Fida, Green Climate Fund coordinator, UNEP also added that the government of the Gambia has also recognised that a paradigm shift is required to manage those resources in a rigorous and evidence manner under climate change conditions.
To affect this paradigm shift, she added that The Gambia government entrusted UN Environment to assist the country building on The Gambia’s existing policies that promote decentralisation of natural resource management and addressing climate change and its experience in supporting adaptation efforts in many countries.
“The UN Environment and its partners work on adaptation has shown that Ecosystem Based Adaptation approach that we are using for this project delivers benefits to people and nature and among others it can improve water quality, increase soil fertility, decrease soil erosion, well being of people etc” she added.
For his part, sectary general Habib Drammeh deputising the president of The Gambia said that this project is of immense importance to government, being the largest single natural resource development project The Gambia has ever benefitted from.
“The EbA project could not have come at a better time when the country’s natural resource base, which provides the means of livelihood to the majority of our rural communities and contributes significantly to the national economy” he conquered.
He further noted that the project shall support women (constituting at least 50% of target beneficiaries) who are the primary career sand exploiters of most natural resources, and according to UN literature, they have been largely marginalised by projects funded by the GCF in Africa.