The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MECCNR) in partnership with AGRER, a Belgian Team of Consultant with funding from African Development Bank and World Bank recently convened a stakeholder's consultative meeting on climate resilience for Technical Advisory Committees (TAC) in the North Bank Region.
The forum was meant to formulate a comprehensive transformational adaptation and mitigation investment plans to reduce and manage the country's high vulnerability to change, and to secure catalyst financing.
Speaking at the ceremony held at Kerewan, Mustapha Saidy, the deputy governor, North Bank Region, highlights government's commitment in combating the effects of climate change to enhance national development.
He emphasised that climate change is real and calls for concerted efforts by all in mitigating its effects .
Pa Ousman Jarju, deputy consultant of Belgian Consulting Firms AGRER on Strategic Programme on Climate Resilient Development (SPCRD), underscored the importance of the forum, saying it would go a long way in supporting the country to develop a holistic approach in addressing climate change.
"The priority areas agreed between government and development partners include the following thematic areas; climate resilient food and landscape, low emission and resilient economy, climate resilient people, managing coastline in a changing environment, infrastructure and waste management".
According to him, government has secured a grant 1.5Million Dollars from ADB and World Bank as part of pilot plan on strategic programme on Climate Resilient Development.
"The team's term of reference include rural resilient, urban resilient, coastal resilient and enabling environment policies and strategies.The intervention would help to address food security, livelihood, forestry, natural resource management, disaster risk reduction, tourism, address the issue of women, youths, health and energy which are cross cutting," he added.
Commenting on the National Climate Change Policy, Jarjue asserted that an opportunity to develop a systematic approaches that include all stakeholders of the NCCP process agreed were needed, to avoid more adhoc climate resilience linked to projects. "It also aims to build on relevant efforts and programmes, past and ongoing, implemented across the stakeholder groupings".
The goal of the policy, he pointed out, is that by 2025 to achieve the mainstreaming of climate change into national planning, budgeting, decision-making, and programme implementation, through effective institutional mechanisms, coordinated financial resources, and enhanced human resources capacity
Therefore, this consultative meeting, he added, would ensure adequate climate change research for informed decision making, and promote timely access to climate information and early warning of climate risks.
"It would also put in place sound and equitable adaptation and mitigation measures that promote effective management of ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to achieve sustainable low-carbon socio-economic development. Effectively integrate climate change into all sectors and across all scales, through mainstreaming climate risks and opportunities into national and sectoral frameworks, and through effective policy coordination and implementation."
For his part, Lamin S. Jammeh of Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources emphasised the need for effective message dissemination on climate change and building more resilience to mitigate the effects to enhance food production.
He also stressed the need for more gender, youth and health, awareness raising through outreach and institutional capacity development.