The principal climate change officer at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Water Resources and Parks and Wildlife has lauded the Gambia’s step in mainstreaming climate change and its possible consequences into her development aspirations.
Bubacarr Zaidi Jallow, who described climate change as the world’s most environmental threat, informed that the country had started putting into consideration, mainstreaming climate change into her development agendas and new environmental projects, while citing the Programme for Accelerated Growth Employment (PAGE) and PRS2 as examples of this development.
The Global Climate Change Alliance Project which is being run by the European Union (EU), he said, also seeks to tackle climate change. He added that the second component of this project is directed towards mainstreaming climate change into development policies to the extent of having climate change framework.
Jallow described climate change as a global issue informing that research has revealed that it is caused by the high amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This, he explained, was brought about by the industrial revolution from the West and is continuing in the emerging economies such as China, Brazil, India and Africa.
“The worst thing about climate change, with all the carbons concentrated in the atmosphere, Africa contributed less than 10% of the emission,” he said. “However, because of the economic, infrastructure and social situation in Africa, the continent remains the most vulnerable.”. Even if the climate change goes to some extends, he underlined, the West has the resources to adapt quickly, while the African continent may struggle.
He described human development as one of the main causes of climate change. As development continues unsustainably, Jallow observed, lot of countries are now are using heavy fuels and coals all of which have some negative impacts. “So all these thing combine and African and Asian countries are also coming up trying to develop . But all that we need to do is to try to achieve better lives sustainably with the use of environmentally friendly materials such as; solar power, win-turbines and hydroelectric power,” he said.
The Gambia’s principal Climate Change Officer, used the opportunity to dilate on the sea level rise, pointing out that the menace of sea level rise could have an impact on the Gambia because of her low lying coastal nature. Banjul, he said, is equal or likely below sea level and that in the next 200 year,s sea level rise can make Gambia loss her capital.
He said that adaptation to sea level rise is possible, but just to certain extent after which it will be very difficult, while describing sea defense system as another alternative measure to adaptation. “I think we can adapt but we can leave certain areas for flood because floods are natural and that they occur every time whenever there is rain,” he said.