Supporting ‘all-inclusive nation-building’ in the Gambia

Creation date: 16 Mar 2018

Government of the Gambia launches new project on Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans with support from joint FAO-UNDP NAP-Ag Programme

16 March 2018, The Gambia – In an effort to prepare its agricultural sector for the impacts of climate change and support low-carbon, climate-resilient development, the Government of the Gambia launched a new project on Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans this month.

Joining existing planning efforts in the country to ameliorate the future impacts of climate change on agricultural sectors, the project is supported through the joint FAO-UNDP Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans Programme (NAP-Ag). Gambia is the 11th country to join the multi-agency support programme financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), through its International Climate Initiative (IKI).

The Gambia NAP-Ag Project was officially launched with a one-day inception workshop on 6 March attended by 84 representatives of key agricultural sectors – including livestock and fisheries, planning, finance, environment and water resources agencies, as well as educational institutions and civil society organizations.

With four out of five people in the Gambia reliant on agriculture and the natural resources sector for their livelihoods, the nation faces unprecedented risks and challenges from climate change. Since 1945, the frequency of droughts and flash floods have increased, and the total national area receiving less than 800mm rain has increased from 36 percent to 93 percent.

In his opening statement, the Hon. Omar A. Jallow, Minister for Agriculture, The Gambia, stressed the need to increase food production and the productivity of the agricultural sector in The Gambia, while also addressing goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the agriculture sector.

“A common obstacle for integrated frameworks is the sharing of data and other resources amongst ministries and agencies. At the same time, effective integration of climate change adaptation planning requires a coordinated, cross-sector approach among multiple ministries,” said Jallow.

In his address, Minister Jallow lauded what he described as the “consistent technical and indeed financial support from United Nations agencies FAO and UNDP,” noting that the government is cognizant of the magnitude of support provided in “our quest for all-inclusive nation building.”

Slated to be implemented over one year, the project focuses on understanding the skills and capacity needs of key planning agencies to plan and budget for adaptation. Training will be planned upon a systematic assessment of skills and capacity gaps in the Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, the National Disaster Management Agency as well as in civil society organizations.

Entry points for gender mainstreaming into decision making and planning for agricultural sector adaptation will also be analyzed and used to inform country-specific capacity building. Trainings organized in gender mainstreaming, hydroclimate information, cost-benefit analysis, and monitoring and evaluation will emphasize training-of-trainers and sustainable knowledge transfer. The NAP-Ag programme will also strengthen the inclusion of climate change issues relating to the agriculture and natural resource sectors in an update of the Gambia National Agricultural Investment Plan.

Learn more about the NAP-Ag project in the Gambia.