By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
Lamin Dibba, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources and Wildlife have stated that we as a country are highly vulnerable to climate change and variability. This vulnerability, he said, we only have two options that are to adopt and mitigate the effect of climate change.
Minister Dibba was speaking at a local hotel in Bakau, during a sharing and validation of the Baseline assessment results for the project ‘Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change in The Gambia’ and the ‘community-Based Sustainable Dryland Forest Management.
“We are gathered here to validate the baseline survey that is conducted to support the effective and efficient implementation of the two GEF project in collaboration with the government of the Gambia. Baseline survey is very importance for the success of any project for the fact that the baseline gives you the basic information about the characteristic of the societies or communities that you are out to support.
“Therefore, I am of the conviction that this is one of the most important tools that all of you should pay attention to in order to enable us effectively implement our projects. Without monitoring and implementation framework it will be difficult for any one of us to know whether the project is achieving its objectives,” he said.
The environment minister encourages community participation in forestry resource management, saying that it is significant to the socio-economic development of our country and in particularly the vulnerable communities that this project is out to support.
“Without a proper environment you don’t talk about economic development, without proper environment you cannot have a health population among others. Looking at our agriculture the level of degradation to our agricultural lands if they are not remedy and we want to produce and feed this country it will be difficult. Therefore, adopting agriculture to climate resilience is importance and it is very high in the agenda of my ministry.”
The head of project at FAO, Haddy Lamin Njie, on behalf of the FAO Country Rep said agriculture and natural resources being the mainstay for economic growth and food security in The Gambia are being constrained by a host of factors including climate change and variability.
“It is evident over the years that agricultural production and productivity have seriously declined while deforestation and forest degradation continue unabated. The consequences are obvious high prevalence of food and nutrition insecurity, poverty and low forest and wildlife diversity.”
According to her, climate change and variability seriously endanger livelihoods, wellbeing, and socio-economic factors which play crucial adaption roles to threats to environment and human systems that sustain farming systems. Therefore, it is vital to better understand and incorporate the situations, concerns and interest of farmers and pastoralist relating to climatic resilience in agriculture.