By Tabora Bojang
Conservation International (CI) in partnership with human rights advancement and advocacy center HURIDAC and the ministry of environment recently organised a participatory business forum for the farming and business communities under the theme “sustaining nature and protecting the environment.
The event held at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul was meant to enhance the understanding of the participants on innovation and methodological means of improving their business and farming techniques that is environmentally friendly and economic viable.
Conservation International operates in over 18 countries in Africa with offices in more than 30 countries worldwide, and its main intervention is to empower and help societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and global biodiversity for the well-being of humanity.
Speaking in an interview with The Standard senior vice-president Conservation International for Africa, Michael O’Brien- Onyeka, said the Gambia has one of the most ambitious commitment to the United Nations frame work convention on climate change UNFCCC through its intended nationally determined contributions.
This Convention acknowledges the vulnerability of all countries to the effects of climate change and calls for special efforts to ease the consequences, especially in developing countries which lack the resources to do so on their own.
The Gambia according to him is among nations that are least responsible for climate change particularly vulnerable to its impact, adding that the “policies and the laws are in place and to translate all this into practice the government needs to prioritise securing the key nature of natural reservoirs that Gambia needs in order to remain vibrant.”
He said the country has huge potentials to create its own “niche to become a leading green economic example in Africa” and has all the ingredients with a thriving eco system to achieve this.
“Gambia can become the country that generates energy from renewable sources like wind, solar and geo-thermal instead of coal or nucleon. The business community has a huge role to play because they bring innovation, speed, flexibility and financial capital, they could pull together supporting the relevant institutions of government and working together with organized civil society to create a Gambia that is green, striving, rich and resourceful” He said.
Huridac’s Board co-chair Ndey Tapha Sosseh said the business and farming communities have an immense role to play in supporting the development agenda of the government and key to it are environmental and natural resource management issues, saying “the private sector is pivotal to ensuring the success of such initiatives.”