‘’Climate-related events have had catastrophic impacts on our food systems’’- DPS Jawara

The Deputy Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MECCNAR), Mr. Ebrima Jawara has said that over the past decades, climate-related events have had catastrophic impacts on our food systems.

DPS Jawara made this remark on behalf of the Hon. Minister Rohey John-Manjang at the joint symposium organize by MECCNAR in collaboration with the MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM), recently held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, Bijilo.

The purpose of the symposium is to disseminate the final findings of the Food System Adaptions in Changing Environments – Africa (FACE-AFRICA) project to policymakers, stakeholders, collaborators, partners working in food systems, climate change, and health in the Gambia, and to discuss how the FACE-AFRICA scientific team can serve policy needs of the Gambia in the future.

The findings in the FACE-AFRICA highlighted several challenges affecting the food system such as huge gap between future food demand and supply by 2050 if agricultural productivity remains the same.

DPS Jawara further reported that the 2022 flash flood and windstorms led to severe property damage and tragic deaths. Flooding in urban areas has also increased the incidents of malaria and water-borne disease, posing a great threat to lives.

He went to inform the gathering about the mechanisms the ministry has in place in the fight against climate change. ‘’In the fight against the menace of climate change, MECCNAR has developed sustainable policies including the National Climate Change Policy, the Third National Communication and the updated and ambitious National Determined Contribution NDC2’’He noted.

He went on: ‘’The Gambia has recently developed its long term climate strategy for achieving low carbon, climate resilient development by 2050 as called for in the Paris Agreement, officially called The Gambia’s Long Term Climate Neutral Development Strategy 2050 (LTS).’’

He assured that MECCNAR is open to novel and practical solutions for climate change adaptation, especially in the area of food system as well as to create and enhance positive and sincere partnerships with national and international bodies.

The FACE-AFRICA is a project funded by the Welcome Trust led by the MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, which seeks to generate evidence and solutions for resilient and sustainable food systems in Africa amid the adverse effects of climate change, that will help to improve and safeguard access to healthy and sufficient food for all.