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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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NEA holds stakeholder consultation on project development for Gef

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By Olimatou Coker

The National Environment Agency (NEA) recently held a day- long  stakeholder consultation on project development for the global environment facility (GEF) at the National Nutrition Agency.

The Government of The Gambia has requested support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to develop a new US$14 million project, to be financed by the Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries Fund (GEF-LDCF).

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The primary focus of the project is to enhance the climate resilience of vulnerable communities and ecosystems to the impacts of climate change. This includes flooding, droughts, and sea-level rise.

Officials have stated that interventions will be designed to decrease the vulnerability of local communities to the intensifying impacts of climate change on urban and peri-urban systems and populations.

The purpose of the workshop is to engage relevant stakeholders in the project design by identifying key priority areas for the project

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The project design will incorporate several components focusing on: strengthening the enabling environment for sustainable development and climate-resilient urban planning; and enhancing urban resilience through sustainable land management (SLM), ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) and the establishment of green-gray infrastructure.

Njagga Touray, Deputy Director National Environment Agency, said this project  is intended to tackle the increasing environmental challenges both in  climate change, land degradation, biodiversity loss, “and now we’re talking about sustainable cities urban development. We are deeply challenged when it comes to sustainable development initiatives in the greater Banjul area. Talking about waste management systems, unplanned infrastructural development of many things for this project will provide the opportunity to help us improve on this, particularly the urban greening, which is a very important component of this project”.

Artifa, EBA Task Manager, said: “So when I initially got the concept from Dr. Badjie, we thought about the idea behind this project and drafted some initial analysis on what we are trying to solve the problem we are  trying to solve. And then what are our key solutions, and who are stakeholders and what does the project need to look like? What we are  here to do today is refine that. We need your inputs, we need your feedback. To make us understand if we are in the right direction, are these solutions, the right one is the problem crafted correctly. And then once we have feedback from you on that we can refine the project and then most importantly, have co-financing articulated so that we understand, okay, these are the projects”.

EBA Task Manager added that they are here today to really flesh out these details and get the inputs and thoughts of the participants on how they have imagined the problem to be and how they have crafted it but they are not Gambians and they don’t know the Gambians situation. “So we really need your inputs to be able to take this through. Now this is a concept. This is the concept note stage once we get the project approved, and we get what’s called the PPG grant for the project development grant. We can then further refine it and develop a full proposal. But at this stage what we really need with the key elements are the crafting of the climate rationale. So what are the climate change effects and issues and how our solutions are crafted around that. So that’s the thinking that we need to come in and once again co financing and inputs from around the house from different stakeholders is really important at this stage.”

Sambou Kinteh, Representative of the Director of the National Climate Change Secretariat, said basically climate change is something that they all agree is actually affecting people, And “ We are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change”.

Kinteh added that he thinks this is the right time for them as a nation to come up with strategies and projects that they think will help them improve their resilience as a country and also improve the adaptive capacities of their people.

He said this particular project is taking place at the right time and they cannot afford to miss opportunities that are linked to this project.

He also urged all the participants to do their best to make sure that this project document is submitted and approved so that implementation will start .

Lamin Koma, Program Manager and Head of the Marine Environment at the National Environment Agency, said that this project has come at the right time even though there are similar projects that are ongoing under some have already phased out like the UNDP coastal GEF resilient project, so this particular one has come to complement the gains of those ongoing, already phased out projects. “ And at the level of the agency, we are working very tirelessly to make sure that our coastal environment, when I say the coastal environment, has to do with the coastal as well. As the sheltered environment. This is where most of our socio economic activities are ongoing, be it as a cultural development, tourism activities, grading maritime transportation, etc. And we are seeing the impact of climate change on those socio economic activities and they’re also causing serious negative consequences on our livelihood,It has come to assist those vulnerable communities, particularly in urban peri urban areas”.

He added that the impacts of sea level rise as well as the agency. They have done a lot of work in this particular ecosystem, a lot of data being collected to at least come up with this decision . That is going to help the government in its policy directive. So this is one of those ones, which is going to help us as a country.

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