executive director of the National Environment Agency has underscored the
fundamental role protected areas play in the conservation of biodiversity,
saying these protected areas are under heavy threats from anthropogenic
pressures, which are now being exacerbated by climate change,
Momodou Jama Suwareh was speaking at the start of a two-day strategic and technical forum on the finalisation and endorsement of the Nuimi-Saloum Trans-boundary Plan in The Gambia at a hotel in Kololi.
“This means that protected areas that have been created to protect certain species or ecosystem types may not do so in the future. However, such sites may become important for other species or ecosystems of conservation concern, and thereby play a key role in helping them adapt to climate change.”
Protected areas, he argued, are also very useful tool in mitigating climate change, notably by optimising carbon sequestration and storage in particular preventing deforestation and forest degradation thereby supporting ecosystems-based adaptation for the benefits of people.
Suwareh, thus noted that it is crucial to gain a better understanding of the vulnerability of protected areas in the face of climate and sustainability of the existing protected area network in order to design appropriate management and adaptation actions.
He challenged participants to do justice to the document by thoroughly reviewing it so that at the end of the day, the objective can be met.
He, however, acknowledged the financial and technical support of partners such as Wetlands International for the works they have been doing in the region.