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The Gambia well represented at World Climate Conference in Paris

Dec 9, 2015, 10:07 AM

The Gambia is fully, multi-sectorally and proudly represented at the World Climate Change Conference of Parties, COP 21. The Gambia delegation numbering more than thirty delegates, including public servants and diplomats, private sector and Civil Society and Non-Government Organisation is headed by Hon Minister Pa Ousman Jarju, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Water, Forestry and Wildlife.

The Hon minister is accompanied by his Permanent Secretary, Ousman Sowe, PS Yam Bamba Njie-Keita, Office of the President, Gambia’s Ambassadors in Brussels and New York, Excellencies Teneng Ba Jaiteh and Momodou Tangara respectively, Bai Matarr Jobe UNESCO Counsel Paris, Lamin Fatty, Ministry of Finance, Mr Bubu Jallow, Bubacarr Zaidi Jallow, Alpha Jallow UNFCCC focal person, Dr Yaffa of UTG, Dr Camara of UNDP, NEA Directors M. Suwareh and D. Trawalleh, Executive Sect Ousman Yarbo of TANGO, Jainaba Nyang, Wurrie Jallow and Mam Samba Joof Action-Aid/ADWAC, Ibrahim Ceesay and Fatoumatta Ndure-Jobe (GRTS) of the Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change among other Gambians.

The twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) opened in Paris on 30 November to 11 December 2015 with One hundred fifty world leaders in attendance at the start of the week to kick off the two weeks of negotiations around climate change at The United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC.

The Gambia Delegation has been delivering speeches, presenting at meetings and chairing side events where the delegation has been exemplarily articulate and clear, showing knowledge and depth in climate change negotiations. The Gambia Environment and Climate Change Minister, an adored and respected Minister Climate Change Negotiator has already been described as “Kingpin of Africa’s Negotiations”. A fitting, heartening and encouraging description of the Gambia head of delegation as country is made proud and being consulted by parties seeking the country’s much valued and sought after view and support in Paris as the negotiations are progressing.

The persons of the Gambia Brussels Ambassador Teneng Ba Jaiteh, Bai Mass Taal Exc, Sect. AMCOW, Alpha Jallow UNFCCC Focal Person, Fatoumata Denton of UNECA, Bubacarr Zaidi Jallow, Sidat Yaffa of UTG, Bubu Jallow, the doyen of Gambia’s Climate Change processes, have all measured up and marvelled audience and negotiators alike as they seamlessly facilitated, chaired, moderated or delivered statements with admirable candour and pedigree at events in Paris.

Meanwhile in the face of all these pressured activities, the Permanent Secretary of the Environment and Climate Change Ministry, Ousman Sowe, running a virtual office, has been, supporting the minister engagements, providing leadership and direction in coordinating the activities of the Gambia delegation, organising and facilitating meetings on the margins of the Paris events. He has called up so far in the week two briefing and debriefing meetings with the delegation to assess progress and level and types of engagement in pursuit of Gambia’s interest in a complex gamut of climate diplomacy unfolding in Paris. The meetings have proven useful in content, broad in scope and promising in prospects.The message has been and remains: Identify, locate and pursue Gambia’s interest.

So far the Gambia delegation on margins has had bilaterals with the Africa Development Bank, the German Delegation, Ethiopia, The Green Climate Fund among others while it is scheduled for more meetings with UNDP, UNECA and the UNCCD Executive Secretary to look at a project on restoring degraded land to curb migration in the Gambia.