By Samsideen Ceesay
Officials from the department of Parks and Wildlife Management recently organised a park management committee meeting at the Kiang West National Park HQ in Dumbuto village.
The meeting, designed to inform the co-management partners about the development in progress regarding private investment in Kiang West National Park, was attended by representatives of the five peripheral communities including village heads and VDC members.
Speaking, Mr Kawsu Jammeh of Parks and Wildlife Management gave a brief highlight on private investment in parks.
He advised the people in the surrounding communities to remain committed and redouble their efforts in ensuring maximum protection of the park and its resources.
The representative of HRH PEFAF, Sanna B Jaiteh, thanked the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources and the line Department of Parks and wildlife Management for the conducive environment accorded to them.
He praised his organisation for being a charitable one, with good reputations and capacity to effect change.
“…we envisaged to create six thousand job opportunities, transform entire tourism sector, restock and fence the perimeter, build vocational school, develop economic zone in buffer zone and communities among others with a view to reduce back way”, he said.
In response, community members expressed appreciation and prayed for the success of the initiative.
Prince Ebrahim Sanyang, also of HRH, assured the locals of positive socioeconomic change in the near future.
He concluded that a road map will be developed to “delineate all activities and responsible partners.”
Abdoulie Sawo from Wildlife Management underscored the importance of private investment in protected areas, citing examples from other countries including Fathala Game Reserve in nearby Senegal.
He said the idea would complement government’s efforts in biodiversity conservation and importantly, address the mandate of international conventions such as the convention on biological diversity.