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NEA validates national portfolio formulation document

Sep 10, 2015, 9:37 AM | Article By: Yai Dibba

The National Environment Agency (NEA) recently validated the National Portfolio Document (NPFD) for GEF-6 at a workshop held at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.

The objective of the workshop was to finalise the document, increase opportunities to align the programming of Global Environment Facility (GEF) resources with other relevant strategies and national planning processes.

The sixth five-year funding cycle of GEF-6 commenced in July 2014 and would run through to 2018.

A national portfolio formulation exercise was conducted in which national priority project programmes for funding were identified, and a draft document developed, and has to be finalised with the contribution and input of all relevant stakeholders.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Water, Forestry, Park and Wildlife, Pa Ousman Jarju, said GEF-6 aimed at addressing global environment benefits of an integrated approach by developing projects with different focal areas mainly, biodiversity, land degradation, climate change and sustainable forest management.

According to Minister Jarju, the GFF implementation of national portfolio formulation exercise initiative started at the beginning of GEF-5.

The goal of the NPFD was to strengthen the country’s ownership over the decision on GEF resources programming; hence the NPFD aims at strengthening the country capacity to coordinate ministries and other stakeholders in both the private and public sectors.

“NPFD is also meant to set the country’s priorities for the use of GEF resource in a transparent manner for the benefit of all GEF stakeholders, including the anticipated demand for the resource, both from the country national allocation under the system to transparent allocation of resources,” the minister said.

He said the overarching goal of the NPFD initiative is to help recipient countries to build or strengthen national processes and mechanisms to facilitate GEF programming in a manner that reflects the country’s priorities and provide an opportunity to align the programming of GEF resources with other relevant strategies and national planning processes.

Minister Jarju further said that the Gambia government through his ministry is fully aware of the current environmental challenges and is committed to collaborating with genuine international organisations like the GEF in addressing those environmental challenges.

In her remarks, the NEA Executive Director, Ndye Sering Bakurine,said the Gambia government had developed national policy documents such as the Gambia Environment Action Plan (GEAP), Biodiversity Policy, Forestry Policy, among others to address the challenges associated with natural resource degradation and related matters.

The development of these documents had been consultative and particularly facilitated their implementation, she said.

“We are all key players in addressing and mitigating these environmental challenges in our capacities and there have been several international initiatives as well as national specific initiative to address global and national environmental challenges,” said Mrs Bakurine.

She said GEF-5 was a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organisations and the private sector to address global environmental issue.

The Gambia had benefitted from various GEF funding cycles and had recorded success in the implementation of all projects, the NEA director said.

She said since the establishment of GEF in 1991, it had served as the financial mechanism of the main multilateral environmental agreements.

Currently, GEF is the largest public funder worldwide of projects aiming to generate global environmental benefits while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.

The Gambia with the support of GEF conducted the GEF-6 national portfolio formulation exercise which was coordinated by NEA as the national GEF focal point.

The main purpose of GEF national portfolio exercise is to serve as priority setting for The Gambia.