Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, in partnership
with the University of The Gambia, through funding from the German Ministry of
Higher Education and research (BMBF), Tuesday organized a seminar on climate
change and land use in The Gambia.
The aim of the seminar is to engender growth and development in the economy through creating employment for Gambian youth in the solar energy industry as also through expanding solar energy accessibility and affordability for domestic and farm use, others.
Sulayman Barry, Deputy permanent secretary of MoHERST emphasized the importance of the seminar, saying he has seen devastating effects of climate change such as flooding and drought that affected rural Gambia.
He said local communities should be made more resilient to the effects of climate change for the country to achieve sustainable development goals. He thanked stakeholders and assured them that the Ministry will provide all the technical and logistical support needed to ensure that the initiative becomes a success.
Dr. Moumini Savadogo, executive director of West African Science Services Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) pointed out the importance of the theme to the WASCAL program.
He said WASCAL has recently held a gathering in Accra, Ghana where deep discussions and deliberations were successfully held to ensure the efficiency and sustainability of the institution. “The Gambia has important natural ecosystems which is an important asset that needs to be managed effectively for the development of the Country. At WASCAL, we are determined to continue to train students on climate change and other related issues thus to strengthen human capacity in West Africa for development.”
Doctor Michael Thiel from BMBF said climate change worldwide has huge impact on land management and food security, adding that West Africa is among the regions in the world that is affected the most.
He added that there has been a few experts for climate change related topics in Western Africa in 2009, noting that this is something that needs to be changed in order to combat climate change and its effects in West Africa.
He stated that the German Ministry of Education and Research is cooperating with West African countries to strengthen capacities in climate change and land management. Thought WASCAL is a young Organisation, but according to Doctor Thiel, it has trained more than 258 young climate change researchers. Among these researchers, he said 17 are Gambian students. The organisation is however looking forward to having more WASCAL alumni from The Gambia.