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Niumi Biosphere reserve develops 2011 work plan

Dec 3, 2010, 1:54 PM | Article By: Abdourahman Sallah

The biosphere coordinating unit under the auspices of the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management (DPWM) on 24 November 2010 gathered members of the Gambia working group under the Niumi Biosphere Reserve to develop a 2011 work plan for the reserve.

In his welcoming address on the occasion held at the department's headquarters in Abuko, Alhagie Manjang, deputy director of DPWM, underscored the importance of the work plan.

The work plan that will come out of the meeting will serve as a steering wheel that will drive all their actions towards the enhancement of the biosphere reserve, he says.

He urged the working group to jealously exploit all avenues to ensure a realistic work plan is developed. "That will pave a better way for the realization of the goals of the reserve," he added.

He commended the working group for their hard work and dedication towards the biosphere preservation.

For his part, Niumi Biosphere Reserve coordinator Abdoulie Sawo said biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.

"These are internationally recognised, and nominated by national governments thus it remains under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located," he said.

Biosphere reserves serve in some ways as living laboratories for testing and demonstrating integrated management of land, water and biodiversity, says Sawo.

There are over 480 biosphere reserves in over 100 countries, which form a world network that shares information and experiences, he said.

Niumi Biosphere Reserve initiative is being funded by the IUCN office in Senegal since 2005 and has had series of significant achievements in terms of consultation with relevant stakeholders through community outreach programmes, he explained.

The management plan and UNESCO candidature form for Niumi Biosphere Reserve has been drafted and reviewed by different stakeholders at national level, Sawo said.

He added: "The biosphere coordinating unit is mandated to develop annual work plan for organising and implementing activities for the reserve."