The vice president and Minister of Women’s Affairs, has underscored that without tangible and meaningful mitigation actions, to limit Greenhouse Gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere, adapting to the adverse effects of climate change will become impossible, particularly, for the most vulnerable countries.
Her Excellency, Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy while addressing fellow African leaders during Africa Action Day on climate change at COP22 in Marrakech, maintained that this is why The Gambia continue to encourage that there be no slow down or back sliding on the momentum in global climate change adaptation and mitigation as crystallised in the Paris Agreement.
She said it is the Gambia’s view that the Paris Agreement would fulfill and meet the aspirations and wellbeing of all, particularly the most vulnerable.
VP Njie-Saidy said The Gambia welcomes the decisions adopted so far on adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology transfer, and capacity building relating to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Africa.
“COP-21, and the adoption of the new, universal and legally-binding Paris Agreement, to the UNFCCC, marks a milestone in the history of international climate change negotiations. In this regard you may wish to note that The Gambia has ratified the Paris Agreement, and the Doha Amendment, to the Kyoto Protocol, on the 5th of October, 2016 and have deposited the instrument of ratification for the Paris Agreement at the UN. By so doing the Gambia proudly joins the member states that have agreed, signed and ratified the Paris Agreement to date.” she stated.
According to her, one of the primary objectives of the Paris Agreement, is to hold global average temperature rise to well below 2OC above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5OC.
She explained that The Gambia aligns itself with these global efforts and as a country, “we are encouraged that COP 22 in Marrakech is about Climate action.”
“Here in Marrakech as with COP 7 earlier held here, we should ensure the implementation of the COP 21 decisions, with adequate and tangible support to the LDCs, and Africa, through the provision of adequate and reliable finance, capacity building, and technology transfer,” she reminded.
The Gambia, she said, is among the smallest countries in Africa and its economy is highly dependent on rain-fed Agriculture and two-thirds of its capital city Banjul, is located 0.5 meters above sea level, thus making the country vulnerable to unfavorable climate change such as sea level rise.
“Because of climate change, The Gambia could be vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change with implications for our economy, tourism sector, food security, resilience, and the lives and livelihoods of coastal as well as rural communities.” she said.
Delivering the Royal Speech, His Majesty, King Mohammed VI, said that Africa is paying a heavy price in the climate equation, as it is undoubtedly, the continent that is suffering the most.
According to him, rising temperatures, shifting seasons and successive droughts, are depleting the biodiversity of our continent, destroying ecosystems and jeopardizing Africa’s progress, security and stability.
“And yet, our continent is responsible for only 4% of greenhouse gas emissions. However, climate change on a global scale is significantly hampering Africa’s development and poses a serious threat to the basic rights of tens of millions of Africans.” he stated.
The summit later came up with a declaration stating that: “We the African Heads of State and Government meeting in Marrakesh on 16 November 2016, at the invitation of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, for the First Africa Action Summit, held on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22); stress that Africa, which has contributed the least to global greenhouse gas emissions; is the continent most affected by climate change and its impacts on its territories, the consequences of which may jeopardize peace; security and sustainable development in Africa;
African regions have voluntarily launched adaptation and mitigation initiatives with a view to enhancing resilience and promoting sustainable development.”
by Bekai Njie in