By Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang
Professor Sidat Yaffa, the Dean of the School of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences of the University of The Gambia (UTG) has disclosed that in search of local capacity and knowledge in mitigating the phenomenon of climate change, there is a dire need to mainstream Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) into the UTG programme in an effort to bridge the capacity gap on ICZM and Climate Change (CC) in the Gambia. The Professor made this revelation during a day consultative dialogue recently held at the University extension campus in Farafenni, NBR with relevant stakeholders to development a training programme and curriculum on ICZM and CC for the UTG.
The conclave brought together curriculum specialists of the UTG and the Coastal Management Environment Working Group within the region in knowledge sharing on Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Climate Change with the view to formulating ICZM training programme and curriculum for the UTG.
This professional dialogue is being organized by the National Environment Agency through the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+) project for the Gambia that aims at consolidating results and positive experiences of the previous GCCA project “Support to The Gambia for integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and the mainstreaming of climate change”1 2013-2016.
The objective of GCCA+ is to support implementation of recommendations set out in the ICZM Management and Strategic Plans of January 2016 and the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) implementation plan for the Gambia of April 2016. Also, to enhance institutional governance enabling planning and implementation of improved climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation measures in the Coastal and Marine Zones of the Gambia.
According to Buba Joof, the Program Officer Grants, the overall development objective of the project is intended to contribute is to increase climate resilience of the coastal and marine zones of The Gambia. This Action he said, seeks to benefit coastal communities and help them to adapt to impacts of climate change through institutional strengthening, knowledge management, and demonstrated implementation of the National Decree of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) approach, at national and local levels.
“It takes into account the inter-linkages between social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, and is in alignment with the Gambia’s National climate change Adaptation Plan and strategy (NAP) as well as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). This action also intends to widen partnership with non-state actors and to further integrate women’s rights and gender equality issues into local climate adaption plans. Joof posited.
He however noted that anticipated result is that ICZM becomes operationalized while awareness of climate change issues increased, and to further enhance capacity to formulate ICZM delivery programme at the University of The Gambia. This is more a reason why the formulation brought curriculum specialists of UTG and Coastal Marine Environment Working Group in knowledge sharing on ICZM and Climate Change issues for the Gambia, including long and short-term capacity needs to meet required targets.
In a nutshell, the project is to enhance indigenous knowledge in coastal natural resources management and building Livelihood and Resilience of vulnerability Coastal Communities and the impact of Climate Change.
The National Resource Person tasked to lead the process Dr. Burama Jammeh did make a presentation on the consultation guidelines on issues affecting ICZM issues, management mechanism, monitoring and how to address issues in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, research, extension services and reference materials.