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‘Climate change negotiation process at a crossroads’

Aug 26, 2015, 9:46 AM | Article By: Yai Dibba

Pa Ousman Jarju, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Water,Forestry, Parks and Wildlife, has said the whole climate change negotiation process is at a crossroads, as the entire world is expecting a robust and equitable new climate change agreement to be agreed and adopted in Paris.

Minister Jarju was speaking recently at a three-day international conference on Cartagena member dialogue hosted by The Gambia and held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.

Attended by delegates from all over the world, the conference considered that The Gambia had successfully prepared the National Adaptation Plan Action (NAPA) as her ultimate objective to adapt to climate change, and the country is on course on the formulation of her NAPs as required by the convention.

“We are currently implementing the coastal protection and early warning projects accessed from the LDCF and on the way to formulating a national policy framework on climate change with EU funding,” Minister Jarju said.

According to him, Paris is not far; the event is fast approaching and this year’s conference in December would be “critical defining moment”.

The world’s desire and resolve to take serious and challenging action to combat the challenges posed by climate change would be tested at the Paris CoP 21, he said.

The world that is most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, including The Gambia would be expecting an agreement in Paris, which would be ambitious, and with adequate commitment towards reducing Green House Gas Emission (GHG) while meeting the Temperature Goal 1.5OC as called for by more than 100 countries.

Anything less than this could herald failure and a great disappointment for these vulnerable countries, particularly low-lying Island states and Africa countries, most of which depend on rain-fed agriculture which is highly influenced by climate change, the minister said.

“The Gambia is among the least developed countries, and emits less than 1 per cent of cumulative global emission,” he stated.

Despite this, he added, the government under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh has striven towards responding to the challenges posed by climate change by establishing a ministry responsible for climate change and other environmental policies and action plan.

The environment minister further noted that The Gambia has completed the preparation of her INDC ahead of many countries, thus making The Gambia to be among the first few African countries to do so.

He disclosed that The Gambia’s INDC would be submitted to the UNFCCC secretariats in the coming weeks before the end of September 2015, adding that this was possible with the support from the UK and German governments.

“We are cognizant of the fact that adaptation is our ultimate objective, but have chosen an INDC on mitigations, as we are all aware that the more we mitigate the less costly it is to adapt to the impact of climate change,” he noted.

“The Gambia INDC is an example for countries of much higher emission to prepare their own INDCs, not only for the sake of fulfilling the decision, but because ambitious INDCs that reduce emission will move us towards a better and safer world for now and for the future,” Minister Jarju noted, adding that The Gambia would continue to make its mark in these endeavours.