updated 11:04 AM MDT, May 24, 2017


State of the Environment Report

A national state of the environment report naturally aims to present a picture of the status and trend of the nation's environmental system. A report of this nature is a necessary support for sustainable development decision-making through the provision of credible environmental information. Three fundamental characteristics of a national state of the environment report can be identified as the interpretation, assessment and integration of high­ quality data, the development of spatial and temporal trend information and the linkage between the environment and socio-economic considerations.

The first State of the Environment (SOE) report-The Gambia, SOE-TG) was published in 1997. This was an attempt to present as comprehensive a picture of the Gambian environment as possible. The report essentially provides first hand information about progress made in the implementation of the natural resources management, environmental health and the energy programmes of the Gambia Environmental Action Plan (GEAP).

The SOE-TG, 1997 was developed from data and information generated through the implementation of The Gambia Environmental Action Plan Monitoring and Assessment (GEAP M&A) Strategy, which is a user-friendly monitoring and assessment system with relevant indicators, appropriate measures, targets, data sources and collection methods.  Since future SOE reports will be built on the GEAP M&A, it is periodically reviewed and improved upon to take into consideration progress in achieving goals of the GEAP.

In essence, the SOE-TG, among other things, provides:

  1. Baseline information against which future progress in the implementation of the GEAP and sustainable development would be judged;
  2. Awareness and understanding of the state of the environment among stakeholders, and
  3. A picture of the relationship between people, resources, the environment and development and the need for environmental considerations as an integral part of the socio-economic planning processes.

At another level, The Gambia is currently involved in the development of the first sub-regional SOE for West Africa. This is within the framework of the project Development of a Collaborative Institutional and Data Framework for Integrated Environmental Assessments and Reporting for West Africa under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Program’s Early Warning and Assessment Program. The report is based on nine themes thus: Land, Atmosphere, Water, Forests, Biodiversity, Coastal and Marine Environment, Urban Environment, Human Health and Environment, and Natural Disaster. Individual countries are expected to provide information on their environments based on these themes, which would then be compiled into a regional report. This report, which is being compiled in The Gambia by the National Environment Agency, when fully developed, is expected to establish an operational environmental data network to support integrated environmental assessment and reporting in the West Africa region. Copies of the 1997 SOE report are available at the Documentation Center of the National Environment Agency.

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