15th Policy Dialogue on National Development Plan, 2017-2020, and national
related policies for civil society organisations yesterday kicked off at TANGO
The 2-day forum organised by TANGO and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was to serve as a platform for information exchange to influence government policies at both national and local levels.
Issues discussed during the forum included agricultural policy in comparison to sustainable agricultural practices, climate change policy on agricultural production and productivity towards economic development, and national action programme for combating desertification, land degradation and drought.
The executive director of TANGO, Ousman Yabo, said the dialogue would further support and complement government’s development efforts in the drive to create better national policies and programmes.
He noted that TANGO has been engaged in a series of policy dialogue because civil societies want to be at the same level with government, but also to help government address gabs on national development.
GEF country coordinator, Kebba Bojang, said CSO and government dialogue platforms are needed to create a bridge linking grassroots organisations to local and national planning processes.
“This bridge is vital to building trust and promoting a cordial working environment between CSOs and government in addressing environmental challenges and achieving sustainable development,” he said.
Mr Bojang said the GEF Small Grants Programme began grant making in The Gambia in 2009 and has since then provided close to US$2.4 to about 85 different projects across the country.
The projects have brought about “considerable successes” in addressing critical environmental challenges and positively affected the lives of the local populations particularly the marginalised ones, he said.