Vice President Ousainou Darboe has affirmed that in line with the national development policies, President Adama Barrow administration is willing to support all efforts geared towards reducing the impact of climate change.
He said that there is no longer any doubt that human activities cause serious global warning yet human being are a threat to the environment, so is climate change a direct threat to human and a source of many other threats and disasters. These remarks were made during a two-day seminar on ‘Climate Change and Renewable Energy’ and ‘Climate Change and Land Use’ which was jointly organised by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and technology (MoHERST) in collaboration with the University of The Gambia (UTG). The programme was funded by the German Ministry of Higher Education and Research Science (BMBF) held at a hotel in Bakau. “Climate change is acknowledged as a growing threat to the environment, livelihood, food security and economic growth; thus food insecurity for instance comes with economic risk as scarcity of staple crops cause crises in prises,” he stressed.
In the Gambia specifically, the vice president stated that food insecurity cause a serious threat as a result of acute erratic rainfall patterns, draughts and floods all of which can be associated with climate change. He said “Some of which force our rural farming population especially the youths to abandon the agricultural lands and move to urban areas thereby increasing the population and unemployment”.
He further pointed out that climate change also contributes to irregular migration to Europe as the youths explore opportunities elsewhere.
The Vice President reminded that the seminar serves as an important step towards implementing The Gambia’s commitments on the 21st conference of parties of UN conference on climate change held in Paris in 2015” he stated. For his part, Badara Joof, the minister of MoHERST said that they should go beyond the seminar and generate issues of climate change and the environmental impact that it has. “I want to domesticate this within the context of the UTG where we would domesticate the knowledge that we would gain from Germany and WASCAL, index it into the Faculty of Research on Climate Change and Environmental Management” he said.
He added that it will enable them to maintain the knowledge since they know that they are having challenges of environmental issues. “It is part of the policy changes and the orientations of the UTG and MoHERST policy in general that research is as important and crucial to things because if we are teaching for the future,” he elaborated.