By Almamo Kamaso
In their Outreach and sensitization crusade the National Adaptation Project (NAP-Ag) funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, which funds passes through Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to Gambia government held a two day Worksop for members of the National Assembly and CBOs at Jenio LRR.
The two day sensitization workshop on climate change issues on the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) sector with members of the National Assembly select committees on agriculture and environment and some Community Based Organizations (CBOs) took place at Jenoi Agricultural training centre LRR. More than fifteen NAMs attended the workshop.
Lamin Fatajo the NAP-Ag Project Coordinator told the participants which comprises of law makers and other members of CBOs whose organizations are either environmental or agricultural bias; that the key objective of adaptation is to reduce vulnerability.
Another key objective, Fatajo said was to strengthening technical and institution capacities of the agriculture sector and other relevant sectors in climate change and adaptation planning (NAP)
Alpha K Jallow of department of Water Resources took the participants through his presentation on understanding adaptation and said introduction of high-yielding, early-maturing and drought tolerant crop varieties and the construction of multipurpose dykes for protection from floods and saline intrusion are some methods.
The construction of contour bonds in the uplands to reduce erosion and conserve water harvesting implement other coping mechanisms during the dry season (sale of livestock, petty trading, and vegetable gardening …) is another method.
Jallow told the participants that adaptation is an adjustments in human and natural systems, in response to actual or expected climate stimuli (impact) or their effects, which moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities;
Alieu Sowe of National Coordinator NACOFAG made a presentation on adaptation priorities and initiatives which he told the participants that they should plant different varieties or species of crops, or rear different breeds or species of livestock (fish or aquaculture). Sowe said varieties or breeds with different environmental optima may be required, or those with environmental tolerances. The use of currently neglected or rare crops and breeds should be considered;
In the face of greater weather variability, he said farmers should consider he to increase diversification of varieties or crops to hedge against risk of individual crop failure. He advised that they make use of integrated systems involving livestock and/ or aquaculture to increase resilience.
Landing Jobe who is the director of Committees at the National Assembly did a presentation on the role of NAMs on climate change. Jobe said the performance of the National Assembly in combating climate change is carried out through portfolio committee on climate change, which in our case, is the Select Committees on Environment and Natural Resources and Agriculture & Rural Dev.
He told the participants that basically these Committees engage relevant ministries and agencies on environment and agriculture to discuss issues affecting the environment and climate putting resolution to mitigate them, which they report to the Assembly for consideration
Another role of Hon. Members to combat climate change is to advocate and sensitize their constituents to increase the awareness of the people in order to apply preventive methods to reduce the effect of climate change.
The member’s role continues to ratifying treaties and conventions on climate change issues that The Gambia signs, and to build partnership with stakeholders within and beyond the country that supplement the efforts of government to mitigate climate change issues.
The presentation were followed by discussions by both parliamentarians and members of the CBOs who attended the workshop. The convergent end late Thursday afternoon.
By Almamo Kamaso