YVE-Gambia holds citizen consultation forum on ‘Action 2015’

Young Volunteers for the Environment The Gambia chapter (YVE-The Gambia), last Thursday organised a daylong citizen consultation forum on ‘Action/2015’, under the theme, ‘Light the way for key stakeholders’. This was held at TANGO.

Speaking at the forum, Joe Bongay, executive director of Young Volunteers for the Environment, informed that Action 2015 is a global movement and one of the world’s largest civil society campaigns made up of over 2000 organisations, networks and coalitions from 150 countries calling leaders to commit to implementing their goals.

According to him, as a coalition in The Gambia they have embarked on series of fora, engaging people across the country, including youth-led organisations, people with special needs, the elderly and local community organisations among others, in dialogue and providing them with a platform for learning, interaction, and planning in view of the Action /2015 set goals.

Commenting on climate change, Bongay said it has impacted on almost all the people around the world and that people are already experiencing climate change in all the continents, for instance in terms of changes in weather pattern. He warned that our children and grandchildren may experience more dramatic consequences.

The executive director used the opportunity to praise the Gambia government for its efforts in the fight against poverty. This he said, is a priority for the government and people of The Gambia and that the commitment has been demonstrated in the implementation of series of MDG-based Poverty Reduction Strategies, which have now been replaced by the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment covering the period 2012 to 2015, with a lot of positive results.

Cecelia Senghore, delivering a solidarity statement on behalf of the United Nations resident coordinator in The Gambia, described the Citizen Consultation Forum as timely, as the world leaders will meet in New York in September 2015 to discuss the goals and targets of the MDGs and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG,s ) which cover wide range of development issues.

She also informed the gathering that the UN System in The Gambia will on 29th of September 2015 launch the SDGs.

She acknowledged that progress has been already made and the decision to be made in New York and the COP in December 2015 in Paris will help the world.

Alpha .K. Jallow of the Department of Water Resources and UNFCC focal person on Climate Change, disclosed that The Gambia has attained its MDG goals on water and that this is a significant achievement for the country.

He however pointed out that the sustainable development goals are undermined by climate change.

He advised the youths to to be steadfast in mitigating climate change and urged them to avoid cutting down trees and plant as much trees as possible.

Jallow reminded the gathering that The Gambia lies within the Sahel region characterised by two seasons, dry (November to April) high temperature, high solar radiation and sunshine hours, with relative humidity being high (80%) during wet low and (40%) during dry season.

Momodou Jonga, the public relation manager at Brikama Area Council, also commended Young Volunteers for the Environment-The Gambia for the good initiative.

The youth organisation he went on, has taken initiative to consult people about the MDGs, climate change and the forthcoming COP 21, to be hosted by France.