By Femi Peters O.S (Gambia). From: Africa News
It is stipulated that about 10,000 settlements in some parts of the greater Banjul area including the capital city could be affected by the climate change problems associated to violent storms, sea level rise, flooding. The effects would be at its peak during the period of rainy season making the environment inhabitable in the long run; this could only be averted by maintaining and protecting the Tambi wetland which is situated between Western Region and the greater Banjul area.
Mr. Kawsu Jammeh, an Environmental Education officer under Department of Parks and wildlife protected area has said more effort is needed from the community leaders, organizations, stakeholders, politicians and the local Government authorities. In order to recognize that biodiversity conservation area development agenda and capitalize all their meetings to pronounce the importance for such an agenda so the practices would be translated into which will help in the management of the natural resources.
He said that the regulation of use of resource drive from the environment normally in the Gambia is done in different ways. The Department of Wildlife Which is responsible for conservation and having documented seven protected areas. These areas are Kiang West National Park, Abuko, Tambi wetland complex, Baobolong, and Tanji bird reserve, and are all demonstration sites but the mandate is focus on entire National Biogeo physical complex and the key word is conservation which means regulatory wise use of the resource to ensure its long term availability for future generation should be respected.
Quoting Mr Kawsu Jammeh, “ Banjul is one meter below sea level which means that the area is vulnerable to the climate change disasters and as matter of fact over 10,000 compounds which are located in on no escaped areas therefore any sea level rise or seasonal flooding could be detrimental to such inhabitants, the best way to mitigate or adapt these problems is to maintain the Tambi Wetland complex as it is and relocate all the communities in the greater Banjul are since in 20 years time the place will be inhabitable due the climate change”.
Blocking of drainages by indiscriminate dumping within and around the complex only help to contaminate the water and multiply infectious vectors. Putting in Mind the difficulty in providing adequate cure for the peripheral communities and ensuring The Gambia continues to become a better country. We must ensure that the environmental goods and products continue to be accessible for our growing population.
The population of the Gambia is on the increase and meaning the demand or pressure has also increase unprecedented therefore lack of management efforts will shorten the resources to meet the requirement of the growing population and environmental management also include dealing with environmental problems that are affecting the dependent population. Therefore it is everybody responsibility to save guide the environment from environmental change.
The environment plays a very important role for the development of mankind and biodiversity.
Mr Jammeh continued that since 1916 there were efforts to conserve and manage the biodiversity of the Gambia and ever since 3 laws have been postulated to stop the unprecedented exploitation of the resources.
The Government have almost shift from the traditional strategy to an integrated conservation and development program initiated at the world conference at Rio de Jinero in 1992 to ensure that protection and management of the environment is properly manage .
Revising the biodiversity law to empower communities , land individuals to invest in to protected area management and create a national implementation program that will bring all stakeholders together to the discuss and address issues related to biodiversity management.
The local communities need to be considered as an opportunity instead of threats and allow the new integrated conservation and development program cater for public participation.
After 10 years of the RIO DE JERO summit the community of environmentalists realize that with the mounting environmental problems such as climate change and biodiversity laws there is an absolute need to put more surface areas under protection this cannot be achieve by the Government alone so the need for diverse protected areas governance come in to play.