May 6, 2008, 6:16 AM
Gambia Protected Area Network (GAMPAN) actor recently hold a one-day meeting at the Kanifing Municipal Council conference hall in the Kanifing Municipality, a programme organised and supported by the Program of Work on Protected Areas office in Abuko.
The forum brought together stakeholders from the council, local authorities, NGOs, government institutions, who are within and around the protected areas.
Speaking at the meeting, Kawsu Jammeh, project coordinator, said the meeting was held to brief GAMPAN actors about GAMPAN protocol and agreement regarding the implementation of the convention on biological diversity (CBD) for program and work on protected Area (PoWPA) in The Gambia.
The CBD is an international treaty for conservation of biodiversity in ensuring sustainable use of its resources and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.
Furthermore, this convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem, particularly climate change, Mr Jammeh says, adding that today 193 countries worldwide are parties to the CBD including The Gambia.
"The involvement of Gambia Protected Network actors, especially the indigenous local communities, youths, NGOs and even the business community, is key in the implementation of the CBD and NABSAP," he added.
He also said that one of the priority activities of PoWPA was to promote and establish a diverse governance system through the involvement of relevant stakeholders in the national implementation support partnership guided by a common plan agreed and implemented by partners including regional governors and municipalities.
For his part, Mawdo Jallow, wildlife conservation officer and the manager of Bao-bolong Wetland Reserve, revealed that The Gambia has developed great protected areas systems to ensure proper conservation and sustainable use of its rich fresh water, marine and terrestrial biodiversity resources for the benefits of all.
The protected areas are not efficiently managed due to several setbacks such as lack of individual protected areas, budget, insufficient intellectual capacity, and short of human resources.
Abdoulie Sawo, biosphere project manager, in his remarks, stated that in 2006 The Gambia made an assessment of its stand in the implementation of PoWPA activities in the first phase of the project, which was funded through Global Environment Facility and Global Action Program by the UNDP.
Adama Jeng, KMC community service manager and a secretary to the technical advisory committee, says GAMPAN is a network of stakeholders and has come to regularise the use of The Gambia’s natural resources for sustainability.
Other speakers on the occasion included Abdoulie Joof, the alkalo of Kololi, Ebrima Tamba, chairman of standing committee for agriculture and natural resources, who all expressed their willingness and readiness in supporting the activities of GAMPAN.