Dec 24, 2008, 4:10 AM
The Department of Parks and Wildlife Management (DPWM), in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, on 13 November 2012 launched the National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plan (NBSAP) project at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo.
The objectives of the forum was among others to ensure a thorough understanding of the full process of developing a national biodiversity action plan, initiate stocking, establish a steering committee as well as discuss and process a draft procurement plan.
Alpha Omar Jallow, Director of the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management, said his Ministry recognizes the importance of updating and revising the national biodiversity blueprint after 13 years of implementation.
The convention, he noted, requires countries to prepare a national biodiversity strategy or equivalent instrument and to ensure that this strategy is mainstreamed into the planning and activities of all those sectors whose activities can have positive and negative impacts on biodiversity.
The Gambia signed the CBD in 1992 and subsequently ratified it in 1994, he said, adding that that prior to and since these acts of national commitment, the Government of The Gambia has undertaken several initiatives that have contributed to the implementation of the convention such as the adaptation of the Gambia Environmental Action Plan 1990-1992, the enactment of the National Environment Forest Policy and Bill among others.
“The National Biodiversity and Action Plan is therefore a culmination of the preludes in our efforts in meeting our international commitments to the full implementation of the convention,” Mr Jallow stated.
The national biodiversity strategy and action plan, he added, is a strategic instrument for achieving concrete outcomes and not a study, review or publication that sits on shelf.
He stated that its role is to drive public policy and generate the activities and changes that it identifies as needed to meet the objectives of the CBD at national level.
“Our revised NBSAP is going to be designed as a website, accessible to all sectors,” he said, adding that such a national portal will allow every thematic issue area and sub-national entities including the municipalities to have their strategies.
This, Jallow further stated, will enable concern sectors to mainstream biodiversity in their policies and practices.
He indicated that the revised NBSAP as opposed to the former will be accompanied by communication, education and public awareness strategy, fifth national communication and NBSAP implementation plan.
He finally expressed optimism that, “the successful revision of our NBSAP will not only be remarkable stride towards our goal of building a society which is in harmony with nature, but will also constitute a solid basis for sustainable growth and development among others.
At the end of the session, participants recommend reactivating the national committee on biodiversity, introduction of a monitoring and evaluation systems as well as measures for the sustainability of the project.