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NEA, MOA validate ESMP draft document

Feb 5, 2016, 10:13 AM | Article By: Yai Dibba

The National Environment Agency (NEA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) recently held a validation workshop on the draft Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) for The Gambia Commercial and Value Chain Management Project (GCAV) at the Baobab Hotel.

The project is aimed at improving the production system and access to markets for two targeted agriculture commodities, vegetables and rice, by supporting critical investment and services that constrain their production and income growth.

The project will be implemented in 29 farming communities, 21 vegetable garden sites and 8 tidal rice sites in NBD, CRR North, CRR-South and the West Coast Region.

Speaking at the ceremony, the director of Inter-sectoral Network at the NEA, Momodou Jamall Suwareh, said the project, like many other projects, requires the development of an ESMP before its implementation, which was clearly indicated in the National Environment Management Act 1994.

He said the GCAV project, funded by the World Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, is aimed at improving production systems and access to markets for two targeted agricultural commodities - vegetables and rice - by supporting critical investment and services that constrain their production and income growth.

The GCAV project aims to contribute towards food security and poverty reduction among rural Gambian population, he said, adding that GCAV has a broader scope by attempting to address issues with land degradation to improve the productivity of agriculture, as well as protect the environment.

According to Mr Suwareh, the NEA is mandated to improve guidelines for development activities to minimise the environmental impacts of such development in this regard.

He said NEA, in consultation with the project management and the consultant, works to ensure the environment management plan is developed, to ensure that environmental concerns associated with the project development are addressed.

“The reparation of this ESMP is in line with Gambia’s Vision 2016, Gambia Environmental Action Plan (GEAP), the ANR policy and our national goal for sustainable development, as the environmental and social management plan is a clear plan of action stipulating what specific activities need to be taken to ensure mitigation measures are duly implemented accordingly,” he noted.

He said ESMP aims to integrate the environment and social issues of this project with existing programmes, activities and other components of the project to promote overall improvement of development through effective coordination and implementation of the mitigation measures, in a timely manner.

The coordinator of GCAV project, Modou Mbaye Jabang, said considering the scope of the project and in line with the provision of National Environment Management Act 1994 and EIA Regulation 2014, the project signed an MOU with the NEA to implement and manage the plan.

He said the project has submitted a draft environment and management plan for validation to key national stakeholders to ensure all concerns are addressed in the final plan.