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KAIRACLO says they’re not activists: Gambia has many activism CSOs on Environment

By Sanna Camara

At a press conference convened today, the Chairman and board of trustees of the Kairaba Conservation and Leadership Organization, (KairaCLO) said their work is not focusing on activism; rather, they will direct their efforts at strengthening existing legal frameworks to improve and Consolidate the implementation of various environmental, ecological and conservation regulations in the country.

The group, inspired by the ideals and principles espoused in the Banjul Declaration authored and published by Gambia’s first President, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara in 1977, said they are non-partisan, non-profit, independent conservation group who came together to pursue the ideas and vision expressed in the Banjul Declaration some 47 years ago today. In commemorating the 100year anniversary of President Jawara, they have lined up series of activities and programmes to reflect on national conservation issues confronting The Gambia.

Mr Almami F. Taal, Chairman of the body, told journalists at the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of The Gambia yesterday, that: “It is a small effort on our part; a national effort towards upholding the vision, ideals of Sir Dawda in conserving our flora and fauna, as outlined in the Banjul Declaration.”

“It is a sobering reflection that in a relatively short period of our history most of our larger wildlife species have disappeared … Thus I solemnly declare that my Government pledges its untiring efforts to conserve for now and posterity as wide a spectrum as possible of our remaining fauna and flora. Sir Dawda Jawara President of Gambia,” an excerpt if the declaration by Mr Jawara in 1977, stated.

Hence GAMCLO said they will be pursuing these through forging partnerships with national institutions like the National Environment Agency, National Agricultural Research Institute, Directorate of Agricultural Services, Ministry of Basic Education and the University of The Gambia, among other international and NGOs.

“We adapting a change of approach to national development dynamics. We ought to reflect and look inwards, in order to make positive changes to our lifestyles that impact our environment on daily basis. You can call it restarting a national conversation to pay respect to the memory of Sir Dawda Jawara,” he said.

For them, activism is every citizen’s business hence GAMCLC’s approach is to utilize partnerships for Implementing the already existing environmental laws and create a balance between exploitation and conservation by creating a common ground for bridging gaps towards conservation of the environment.

Board of trustees present at the presser include vice Chairperson, Madam Ramzia Diab, former Gambian High Commissioner to several Asian countries, Secretary to the board, Mr Mbemba Tambedou, a retired broadcaster and former minister in both the First and Second republics of The Gambia; Prof Sidat Yaffa, deputy vice chancellor, academics, and Head of School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of The Gambia; Mr Abdoulie Danso, a forestry and natural resources management expert who served as permanent secretary in the first republic as well as Isatou Secka, media liaison officer of the board.

They’ve all pledged to commit to this cause through the framework of the rule of law as a hon

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