Following the series of climate negotiations being convened by the Conference of Parties (COP), a final agreement was reached in 2015 at the Paris meeting to mobilize a special fund (Green Climate Fund-GCF) for climate financing both for adaptation and mitigation. Subsequently, the GCF was created to be the financing mechanism of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Generally the EbA Project was borne out of the realization that Gambian local communities and major economic sectors remain vulnerable under conditions of Climate Change. In specific terms, the livelihoods of majority of rural Gambians are eroding as a result of the degrading environment and the country’s dwindling natural resource base, on which most of these communities depend for their survival. This project was conceived and developed through collaboration between my Ministry and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) based in Nairobi as the Accredited Entity. In this framework cooperation agreement the Ministry of Environment will serve as the Executing Entity to be advised by UNEP on the GCF fiduciary terms and conditions accordingly.
The Objective of this project is to build the climate-resilience of rural Gambian communities and by developing a sustainable natural resource-based (green) economy. The EbA project shall rehabilitate up to 10,000 hectares of degraded forest and wildlife parks through reforestation, enrichment planting, conservation of rare or endangered species as well as the restoration of 3,000 hectares of abandoned and marginal agricultural lands. When implemented as planned, the EbA Project shall directly benefit up to 11,550 Gambian households, with the potential to indirectly reach a further 46,200 households in the four target Regions (URR, CRR and LRR). Of these 50 percent will be women.
It is gratifying to note that the country has made enormous strides in the fight against climate change and related impacts. For example, the National Plan of Action (NAPA) and other policy frameworks have been prepared and other programme strategies developed to address climate change impacts and the requisite awareness being created nation-wide to also prepare the citizens toward this end.
Mr. Chairperson, Ladies and gentlemen,
Although this project had a late start, I am pleased to mention hear today that the project is now on a strong ground, having signed the project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) in summer last year and the fact that it has become effective on January 10th 2018. We have also established the governance and institutional structures to support programme delivery. For example, the staff of the Project management Unit have been appointed and put in place as well as the Project Steering (PSC) with clear terms of reference which will be holding its maiden meeting tomorrow, 24th in this very venue. The project will also be working with scientists from ICRAF to ensure project objectives are met and on time. In this regard I would want to welcome ICRAF to the Ministry and the programme and wish them all the best.
In conclusion, I take this opportunity to thank all our partners, especially GCF, UNEP, UNDP, FAO for their support. Special thanks go Hon. Pa Ousman Jarju, my predecessor as Minister of Environment, who continues to tirelessly ensure that this project is realized. Hon. Jarju is currently working with GCF, for your information.
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR KIND ATTENTION.