in the Environment Selection Committee of the National Assembly were recently
exposed to mandates of National Environment Agency (NEA) during a daylong
briefing session at the agency’s documentation center along Jimpex Road.
The executive director of NEA, Momodou Jama Suwareh, while addressing participants at the official opening of the event said that The Gambia as a country has shown real commitment to the protection of the environment as a key component of sustainable development.
Having The Gambia Environment Action Plan (GEAP) in place, he said, the instrument continues to provide the framework within which The Gambia environment can be planned for and manage in a continuous sound and sustainable manner.
Over the years, he stated that the National Environment Agency has developed a functional institutional framework for the implementation of the GEAP and the management of the environment that is highly participatory.
“Public awareness of environmental issues in the planning and implementation of environmental management schemes has helped to raise the understanding of the citizenry,” he said.
He added that The Gambia being a developing country is indeed at a critical juncture. “It is no secret that our common aspiration is to fight poverty by ensuring economic prosperity. While we aspire to grow economically, we would unavoidable follow the commonest route: industrialisation, technological advancement and agricultural revolution. These are what brought the developed countries success and therefore, we are tempted to follow suit.”
However, advised that it is important that our approach to development is guided by wisdom and willingness to learn positive lessons in order to avoid pitfalls others fell into.
Since the down of the new dispensation, he pointed out; our country has become one of the most attractive investment destinations in the sub-region.
“We are attracting numerous investments the world over irrespective of our size. Whilst these might contribute positively towards actualizing our dreams of economic prosperity, the ramifications on the environment and social impacts cannot be ascertained as at now. Hence there is need for safeguards.”
Mr. Suwareh said as a country, we are blessed with the requisite human resources and sound policies and legislative tools for sustainable development’. He said.
He concluded that the foregoing session with NAMs is imperative and that we are able to assess our preparedness for ensuring effective scrutiny of our policies, programmes and projects in particular, to ensure protection and preservation of our environment.