Gambian ministries discuss agricultural priorities for climate change adaptation
7 November, 2019, Banjul, The Gambia - In November, representatives from Gambian ministries gathered for the National Workshop on Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) in Banjul to address long-term resilience planning in agriculture, a sector that will critically impact 70 percent of the nation’s poor, and up to 91 percent of Gambia’s extreme poor.
At the opening of the National Workshop, the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture of the Gambia, Mr. Lamin Kamala, reiterated the importance of adaptation planning to the large proportion of Gambians employed in the agricultural sectors.
The workshop brought together stakeholders involved in agricultural planning and policy to advance the integration of agricultural priorities within the country’s NAP process.
About 90 representatives attended, coming from local districts as well as planners and representatives from livestock, forestry, crop production and fisheries and aquaculture. Presentations and group discussions raised awareness and sensitized key stakeholders on the overall NAP process in the Gambia. In addition, the participatory group work and discussions provided inputs to developing a framework for a national adaptation plan process in the agriculture sub-sectors for the country.
The workshop covered a range of topics. Agricultural representatives were given an update on Gambia’s NAP process and sensitized on the necessity to align adaptation actions with the country’s needs, articulated in the National Development Plan, National Climate Change Plan, sector policies, commitments to the Paris Agreement (through Gambia’s Nationally Determined Contribution) and Sustainable Development Goals.
During breakout groups, workshop participants identified gaps in information, institutional framework, and technical capacities. They also discussed the challenges of distinguishing adaptation actions from planned actions, and the crosscutting nature of managing resources critical for climate change adaptation—examples included mangroves, which provide aquaculture opportunities for livelihood diversification, as well as protection from sea level rise. The workshop closed with an identification of key adaptation priorities for each sub-sector.
Stakeholders welcomed the opportunity to participate in follow-up actions, including a validation workshop in 2020 to discuss the recommendations to the NAP-Ag Framework. Together with a NAP-Ag stock take, an institutional barriers assessment and a skills assessment, the Framework will provide a comprehensive overview of the gaps, resources needed and next steps to foster long-term agricultural and rural resilience in the Gambia.