THE NEED FOR THE COASTAL AND MARINE ENVIRONMENT (CME) PROGRAMME
The Gambia's Coastal and Marine Environment are a rich source of animal and plant lives, which are, used daily. Mangroves protect the coastline from erosion and are breeding grounds for fish and other marine life. This valuable resource is being cut down and used
for smoking fish or domestic fuel. There is high demand on our fish stocks because of commercial fishing. We must establish levels of exploitation to develop the fisheries sector on a sustainable basis. This will increase availability of fish in the communities, create jobs and improve living standards. There are also numerous problems such as poor inefficient methods of processing fish, which cause damage to the environment.
Likewise damage to the coastal area as a result of the removal of beach sand for construction is a serious environmental concern. Erosion along the Banjul Coastline has also resulted in the encroachment of the sea into the historic sites and commercial businesses such as Banjul Cemetery and Radio Syd.
These are pressing needs, which require attention from the CME Programme. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has placed The Gambia as one of the ten countries in the world most in danger of experiencing disastrous consequences of a rise in the sea level due to global warming.
ELEMENTS OF THE CME PROGRAMME
The CME Programme coordinates and monitors all coastal and marine activities in The Gambia. The programme:
- Formulates, reviews and revises policies relating to all coastal, marine and fulluvial (rivers, streams, ponds) activities.
- Supports decision-making. By advising the NEA and government agencies regarding the sustainability, protection, development and monitoring of the coastal, marine and fulluvial environment.
- Convenes and guides task forces on issues that may arise relating to coastal and riverbank erosion, the marine and fulluvial environment,Sand mining quarrying and contingency planning for oil spills.
COORDINATION OF CME
The CME Programme serves as a clearinghouse and collection point for CME issues. Through the Programme, institutional partners are brought together to solve problems. They monitor trends and adjust on-going programmes to take these trends into account. The Programme coordinates these activities under the auspices of the CME Working Group. The Group facilitates coordination of activities related to the management of the coastal and marine environment and is the advisory body to the National Environment Management Council.
COASTAL AND MARINE ENVIRONMENT (CME) WORKING GROUP
The CME Working Group is comprised of:
- National Environment Agency (Chairman).
- Department of Water Resources Department of Fisheries.
- Department of Forestry.
- Department of Livestock Services Gambia Ports Authority Department of Physical Planning and Housing.
- Geology Unit, Ministry of Trade Industry and Employment, Department of Technical Services, National Tourist Office.
- The Gambia Navy.
- Banjul City Council.
- Kanifing Municipal Council & Brikama Area Council.
- Department of wildlife services.
The CME Working Group monitors and assesses all issues related to coastal and marine environment.