Jul 13, 2009, 6:04 AM
A four-day training on African Monitory of the Environment for Sustainable Development project (AMESD) is under way at the Baobab Resort Holiday.
The forum, which attracted many participants within the Ministry of Agriculture, is organised by the Department of Agriculture and hosted by the Planning Services Unit.
The AMESD project is implemented in West Africa by the AGRHYMET regional centre on behalf of ECOWAS and the African Union.
The workshop was held to review the different indicators made available in the framework of AMESD and to discus with participants about their possible use for monitoring activities during the agricultural season as well as their use to illustrate food security and/or natural management early warning bulletins.
It is expected that after the workshop, participants from the technical services will be able to interpret the different products that will be made available to them and better inform the decision-makers
In is official opening remarks on the occasion, the director general of the department of Agriculture, Musa Huma, said the European Union and the African Union jointly launched the AMESD programme under the framework of the nineteenth EDF 2007 to equip African countries with the means to get monitoring to the environment for sustainable development.
He added that the AMESD programme aims at creating an information network under five thematic areas.
He said the objective of AMESD is to provide all African countries licensed with the resources they need to manage their environment more effectively and ensure a long-term sustainable development.
AMESD, he added, also aims at improving the life and prospect of the three hundred and fifty million disadvantaged people in Africa currently in poverty and hardship and whose livelihood is dependent heavily on the environment.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of all countries, as community dependence on agriculture continues to increase vulnerability in the accessibility of land, harvest loss, farm land and plantation destruction, loss of livestock, as evidenced in the 2010-2011 cropping season.
The agriculture sector s heavily dependence on natural phenomenon, he said, adding that the planning services unit under the department of agriculture is doing its utmost best for a study and survey.
He said the use of AMESD in The Gambia will go a long way in increasing the efficiency, the effectiveness and cost reduction for rapid data and information acquisition to inform decision-makers.
For his part, Dr Seydou B. Traore from ARGRHYMET regional centre of CILSS, in his speech, expressed hope that the training will yield dividends and be impactful as participants will gain a lot of knowledge from it.
He also challenged the participants to take active part in the workshop, saying the input of everyone is key as the participants have a pivotal role to play in the society.
In his welcoming remarks, the deputy director of the Department of Planning Services Unit, Aba Sankare, called on the participants to make the best use of the training and use the knowledge gained from it for national development.