Environment Facility (GEF) on Monday 28 January, 2019, hosted a two-day synergy
dubbed National Dialogue on the new programme direction and policies of GEF-7.
The forum was held at a local hotel in Kololi and brought together environmental experts from all over the country including participants from the Ministry of Environment as well as environmental journalists. It is designed to expose them to GEF-7 project and also give the participants a brief window of opportunity to contribute their input through thematic group works and other relevant discussions.
The GEF National Dialogue also aims at better understanding GEF-7 strategies and policies and taking decisions on participation in the various impact programme.
Permanent secretary Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and Natural Resources, Pateh Jah, said GEF has been supporting least developed countries or countries with economies in transition including The Gambia.
According to the PS, this dialogue will enhance “our understanding of GEF 7 strategies and policies and taking decisions on participation in the various impact programmes.
“It is also a strategic forum to promote the integration of global environment concepts into national strategy and policy formulation accounting and regular procedures,” he said.
He added: “At the end of the forum we expect to understand the new programming direction and policies of GEF 7 which will eventually guide us in the identification of potential projects in line with GEF projects and priorities and our national development blueprint.”
PS Jah further stated that the importance of this dialogue taking into consideration the increasing rate of environmental degradation coupled with the adverse impacts of climate change and loss of biological diversity, threatening food security and health of the population.
He concluded that his ministry will continue to create the enabling environment and a level playing ground for all stakeholders and international development partners to ensure that the benefits of GEF projects are maximized.
Also speaking at the occasion was the UN Resident Coordinator, Madam Seraphine Wakana, who said that United Nations remains committed to supporting government in combating impacts of climate change; encouraging sustainable natural resource management and protecting biodiversity.
The UN Resident Coordinator explained that the impact programme under GEF 7 will contribute to focal areas whilst also addressing major drivers of environment degradation and sustainable forest management with drastic sea level, growing deforestation increased urban migration flash flooding and instances of drought.