Officials of Green-Up, on Wednesday 10th January, 2018, presented a framed copy of the ‘Banjul Declaration’ to the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources at the ministry along the Kairaba Avenue.
The ‘Banjul Declaration’ is a statement made by former President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara (DK) in 1977, aimed at calling attention to the need to protect The Gambia’s quickly vanishing flora and fauna.
Received by the minister of environment, the presentation, according to Green-Up, was meant to remind the new government of the commitments in the Declaration and to urged them to renew the drive for a safe and sound environment for all.
Green-Up is a national youth-led tree planting initiative that is implemented by Climate Watch-The Gambia and Youth Action for Sustainable Development.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Omar Sambou, the Program Manager of Climate Watch- The Gambia, also the Advocacy Officer for Green-Up commended the ministry for the moves it has been taking in ensuring that environmental challenges are tackled.
He said the ‘Banjul Declaration’ is significant and that every Gambian should familiarize themselves with it.
Kemo Fatty, the Director of Green-Up, said they are aware of the strides the Ministry of Environment is taking in upholding the dictates of the Declaration. He lauded the ministry for its initiative of planting trees at the Monkey Park and urged them to help provide a borehole for ease sustenance of the planted trees.
The Minister of Environment, Honorable Lamin Dibba, thanked Green-Up for the initiative, saying it reminds Gambians of the need to protect and preserve the flora and fauna. He said the ‘Banjul Declaration’ is more relevant today than when it was declared.
“There are increasing pressures on housing, fuel wood and others resources. Pressures are higher today than in 1977,” he said.
While celebrating the visionary leadership of former president, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, Minister Dibba accentuated the significance of the environment.
“Environment is where everything happens. It is what complements our need for food self-sufficiency,” he remarked.
He said the environment is the central pillar for development and that it has great potentials of boosting tourism and other development areas.
The minister finally advised the public to stop bush fire and illegal cutting down of trees.
The ‘Banjul Declaration’ reads:
“It is a sobering reflection that in a relatively short period of our history most of our larger wildlife species have disappeared together with much of the original forest cover. The survival of the wildlife still remaining with us and the setting aside of protected natural habitats for them is the concern of all of us.
It would be tragic if this priceless natural heritage, the product of millions of years of evolution, should be further endangered or lost for want of proper concern. This concern is a duty we owe to ourselves, to our great African heritage and to the world.
Thus I solemnly declare that my Government pledges its untiring efforts to conserve for now and posterity as wide a spectrum as possible of our remaining fauna and flora.”