Gov’t, GRID-Arendal to enhance Seagrass management

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Gambia Government and GRID-Arendal; a Norwegian organisation supporting environmentally sustainable development and Wetlands International on Monday discussed their work partnership targeting to enhance the management of seagrass in West Africa.

Held at the Abuko Nature Reserve, the partnership will emphasise the importance of seagrasses; flowering plants (angiosperms) which grow in marine environments. There are 60 species of fully marine seagrasses which belongs to four families (Posidoniaceae, Zosteraceae, Hydrocharitaceae and Cymodoceaceae), all in the order Alismatales (in the class of monocotyledons).

GRID-Arendal project coordinator Dr. Malle Dagana said along the coast, bordering the ocean and sea of the world, there are vast marine prairie extended seagrasses meadows in 2003 UNEP reports in the form of an Atlas which, he said contains the first global and regional maps of seagrass distribution and a wealth of information on the key issues concerning the valuable ecosystem.

Dr. Dagana emphasised the importance of economic and ecological valuable productive ecosystems on the earth, saying it appears that there is limited awareness on the existence and importance of seagrass meadows which in turn contributes to their degradation with threats such as the discharge of domestic, agricultural and industrial waste waters.

Ousainou Touray, deputy director of the department of parks and wildlife said the aim of the project is to bring together managers and researchers to build capacity on how to collect and analyse seagrass distribution data to create national and regional expertise within West Africa. He said this will provide the ability to enact positive change for seagrass habitats. “In the framework for implemented of the resilient seagrass project on the seagrass beds in West African, MAVA foundation and  the national institutions partners in The Gambia met  to select a pilot site. With the technical back up of the regional coordinator, a two years action plan was developed and validated by the National Implementation Team (TIN).”

Author: Sanna Jallow