By Nelson Manneh
Environment Minister Lamin D. Dibba, on Tuesday May 21st 2019, inaugurated the National Climate Change Council (NCCC). According to the authorities, the NCCC was established after the Gambia was identified by the intergovernmental panel on climate change, as one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change in Africa; that in order to manage this vulnerability, the Government of the Gambia with support from the European Union, developed a national climate change policy in 2016, which was approved by cabinet in 2018. The policy is aimed at mainstreaming climate change in all development sectors and to improve the coordination of climate change interventions.
In his remarks the Environment Minister said the main goal of the policy is to build resilience as a nation, to the impacts of climate change; that the policy outlines the need for the formation of a climate change secretariat and other oversight committees, to enhance coordination of proposed interventions and policy actions.
Minister Dibba said they will set up a climate change fund which will be used to support climate change activities. “The policy is a guide line for the country and will support us in our activities,” he said; that the Gambia already experiences climate change in various ways, which needs special attention.
Dibba said the highest level of oversight proposed in the policy of the NCCC, will comprise all relevant ministerial, private sector and NGOs, with the Minister of Environment being the Chairperson.
Participants were taken through the policy document which shows the strategic focus areas and institutional arrangements.
According to the policy document, the long-term vision is to achieve a climate-resilient society through systems and strategies that mainstream climate change, disaster risk reduction, gender and environmental management, for sustainable social, political and economic development.