Environmental journalists and the National Assembly select committee on environment recently concluded training on environment issues at the Tendaba Camp in Lower River Region.
The training was organized by Governance of Marine and Management of Coastal Resources, with the acronym GO-Wamer and funded by EU and the UNDP.
In his opening remarks, GO-Wamer project coordinator at the Ministry of Environment, Babanding Kanyi, said Go-Wamer project, is a network that has been developed between members of the National Assembly Select Committee on environment, local councilors and environmental journalists.
He pointed out that this would allow increased structural process of interaction between policy makers and civil society by allowing sharing of information between legislators and civil society organizations on matters related to the management of environment and natural resources including fisheries resource in the country.
He said the project would also support and organize special awareness programs, promote shared-learning among and between the stakeholders; facilitate the popularisation of fisheries regulation and policies including the fisheries development strategies by civil society; strengthen capacity of network of parliamentarians for their effective understanding and enhance contribution to the protection of marine and coastal resources in general and fisheries in particular.
"This workshop will delve into issues on poverty, fisheries, environment and biodiversity to broaden the understanding of lawmakers, so as to inform policymakers and journalists to highlight burning issues for mediation and strengthening of our gains," he said.
For his part, the Central Project Coordinator at the Ministry of Environment, Salima Jobe, said GO-wamer has a big governance component and the lawmakers have particularly important roles to play in terms of livelihood improvement.
For The Gambia, he said, the GO-Wamer project has four resources among who are journalists, who inform the public and the parliamentarians who enact the laws.
He was worried that though the fisheries sector provides 80% of needed protein that Gambians consume, it is yet the most challenging natural resource area for The Gambia.
He said this was why the two areas are very important to improve governance in fisheries operation in the West Africa sub-region.
Go-Wamer is a sub regional project covering Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Cape Verde.