Stakeholders Meet to Review Trans-boundary Management Plan

Friday, May 18, 2018

Stakeholders in the management of trans-boundary ecosystems in Gambia and Senegal on Thursday met to review and finalise the trans-boundary management plan for Nuimi-Saloum National Parks at a hotel in Kololi.

Between 2010 and 2015, The Gambia implemented a project dubbed- Protected Areas Resilience to Climate Change (PARC). The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was the implementing agency and UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre being the executive agency in collaboration with IUCN West and Central Africa Programme (IUCN PACO) led by the national liaison officers

It is against this backdrop that Wetlands International convened this forum to help The Gambia and Senegal to update this National Trans-boundary Management Plan and start implementation of the programme.

Participants at the end of the interface are expected to come up with concrete actions that will ensure the implementation in the current and future projects and programmes.

Addressing the gathering, Momodou Jama Suwareh, the executive director of National Environment Agency, acknowledged that climate change impacts have indeed already been observed on biodiversity. These impacts, he went on, are causing shifts in the distribution of species, as well as reduction in population size and even extinctions of local population.

He recalled that between 2010 and 2015, The Gambia implemented a full-size GEF project which focused on the impacts of climate change on protected areas and the site selected for the pilot activities was the trans-boundary areas between Nuimi National Park in The Gambia and Delta Du Saloum Park in Senegal.

‘Nuimi National Park was established in 1986 and covers 7,758 hectares from Barra at the mouth of the River Gambia. It encompasses Jinack Island and its natural extension of the Saloum Delta National Park. Additionally, Delta Du Saloum was established in 1976. It is located in the central west of Senegal in the Sine Saloum region. It covers 76,000 hectares and established as a biosphere reserve in 1981 and recognised as a wetland of international importance (Ramsar site) in 1984.’

The two national parks, he explained, form a complex classified as wetland of international importance since 2008, adding that a protocol of agreement between The Gambia and Senegal for the trans-boundary management of protected areas, known as the Jinack Protocol which specifically applies to the Nuimi-Saloum trans-boundary site, was signed in 2001.

“A trans-boundary management plan for the Nuimi-Saloum complex has also been created in October 2010 and would have been updated as part of the PARC project to take into account climate change aspects.”

For his part, Pap Mawade Wade, coordinator of Wetlands International, thanked NEA for their efforts in convening the meeting, recalling that the process started a long ago to prepare and finalise the management plan for the trans-boundary  reserve of Nuimi and Saloum National Parks.

‘This process as I said started long time ago, but in both countries the project was kind of dead’.

He noted that Wetlands International started a new programme this year call Mangrove Capital Africa and in this programme they have four components, which ranges from conservation actions and livelihoods activities to knowledge-based and capacity building.

It is in the framework of these components, he said, that they’ve decided to help The Gambia and Senegal to update this national trans-boundary management plan and start implementation of the programme.

He thanked their consultant for the effort, while expressing optimism that at the end of the interface, they would come up with tangible results that kick start the full implementation of the plan.

Author: Sheriff Janko