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Naturefriends Int’l storms Janjangbureh Kankurang Festival with tons of tourists

Jan 31, 2020, 12:03 PM | Article By: Yunus S Saliu

Naturefriends International stole the show at the third edition of Janjangbureh Kankurang Festival as members stormed the historical island in large number on the opening day last Friday.

Naturefriends International who has been attending the festival since its rebranding in 2018, used the their presence as an opportunity to celebrate the International Friends of Nature’s Day and commemoration of the NFI 125th year of establishment.

The large number of its members who attend the festival are tourists which was described as ‘overwhelming’ because there was no tourist at the festival who came through local or ground tour operators in The Gambia.

Since its establishment in 1895 in Vienna, NatureFriends have committed themselves to their goals worldwide with thousands of activities from the struggle for freedom of way to the development of environmentally and socially compatible tourism and leisure activities to the commitment to nature and environmental protection, climate justice and international solidarity.

Mamadou Mbodji, vice president of Naturefriends International said they believe that the Janjangbureh Kankurang Festival is important and that was why they decide to bring such number of European tourists to the festival.

He noted that the festival connected to what Naturefriends International called the “Landscape of The Year organized for the first time in Africa and the two countries that have been chosen are Senegal and Gambia.”

Mr Mbodji expressed for choosing Senegal and The Gambia saying “as a Senegambian to have been able to organize this Landscape of The Year between these two countries is a pride and it was great joy for me to accompany the European countries (nine nationalities from all the organizations in Europe and two African countries) to the festival annually since rebranded.”

According to him, not only environment is their objective but also culture and in Janjangbureh.  “When we walked into the world we found nature but what human being brings is culture and culture is something really strong for humanity.”

Among other importance of culture, he stated that it helps to federate human being wherever they are and “diversity is valued whether you are from Europe, Africa or Asia we all got our own culture.” When you put them together he said “we can get something really positive for the humanity,” he noted.

Expanding on it, he said peace is possible through culture, dialogue, thus, when you know others’ culture, you will understand them and when we are together there will be no stereotype and misunderstanding and through that we will be able to build a sustainable peace,” he quizzed. 

He discussed other objectives of the Landscape of The Years which he said is meant to identify ecological area that is rich, fragile and federating two countries “that’s why we chose Kougheul – Senegal and Janjangbureh – The Gambia with aim of identify touristic possibilities that are facing difficulties, we have to nurse them.”