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National Legal Reform Seminar Ends

Jul 3, 2009, 7:55 AM | Article By: Abdourahman Sallah

A one-day National Legal Reform Review and National Implementation Support Partners seminar ended recently at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.

In her keynote address, Nancy Nyang, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Forestry and Environment, said protected area management cannot be successfully managed without a legal norm that makes it binding to have a national network of stakeholders, who at the end of everything will be duty bound in the implementing of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) programme of work on protected areas in the Gambia.

She pointed out that the project is seeking to put in place a legal mechanism that will empower all Protected Areas (PA) governance-type, ranging from community-managed parks to private parks, state forests and even co-managed parks.

"Environmental issues are every body's business since every living organism depends on the function of the natural ecosystem for survival and the Gambia will always depend on these natural environmental resources to meet their basic needs and services", she noted.

Madam Nyang disclosed that this is in consistent with the bio-diversity specific orientation of our national blue print Vision 2020, which aims at guaranteeing a well-balanced ecosystem. She noted that "the ultimate aim was to create a society that sees itself as an integral part of nature, recongnises different life forms and maintain environmental goods and products for posterity by nurturing our part of dynamic planet rich in bio-diversity".

According to her, although bio-diversity represents the cheapest and most environmental goods and services for the majority of Gambians, destroying the Gambia's environment or condoning its destruction cannot but tantamount to committing suicide. She said to avoid or prevent the destruction of our ecosystem is the responsibility of each and everyone. She added that the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management is charged with the mandate to regulate the wise use of natural resources in ensuring the long-term maintenance of bio-diversity. As a result, she went on, the department has succeeded in designating seven (7) protected areas as part of the project, covering 4.1% of national territory.

Other speakers included Mr. Kawsu Jammeh, the Project Manager who gave an overview of the project. The seminar was chaired by Mr. Alpha Omar Jallow, the Director at the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management.