By MUHAMMED S. BAH
Pa Ousman Jarju, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, told the National Assembly that the Gambia has received a total of $52,822,672 to implement various climate change projects through the Least Developed Country Fund and Green Climate Fund which are part of the funding mechanisms under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
The minister made this disclosure to the law makers on Monday, 3 October 2016 when he was tabling for the ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (2016-2020).
In his presentation, Minister Jarju said at the end of COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, Parties agreed to establish an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) to develop a Protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention, applicable to all Parties and to come into effect and be implemented from 2020. The ADP, he added, concluded its negotiations in Paris on 12 December 2015, where 196 parties to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement (PA).
“Among these Parties are the 48 members of the Least Developed Country (LDC) group, which includes The Gambia. The LDC Group represents the poorest members of the international community and among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Under the Chairmanship of The Gambia from January 2011 to December 2012, the Group moved to the forefront of the UNFCCC process and had actively engaged in the negotiations leading up to this milestone (adoption of the PA) in multilateral diplomacy,” said the climate change minister.
Minster Jarju noted that the Paris Agreement acknowledges that Climate Change is a common concern of humankind and that Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and inter-generational equity.
The motion on Paris Agreement on Climate Change (2016-2020) was seconded by the Hon. Ousman Bah, the National Assembly Member for Sabach Sanjal.
In tabling the motion on Doha Amendment on Kyoto Protocol (2013 – 2020), Minister Jarju said the Kyoto Protocol was ratified by The Gambia in 1995, following the coming into effect of the Kyoto Protocol in October 2005. “Parties agreed in Bali 2007 to create an Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties (AWG-KP) to negotiate whether and how the quantified emission limitations and reduction obligations (QUELROs) of Annex I (developed) Parties would continue in the post 2012 time period,” he said.
He added that a second working group was also created in Bali, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA).
The climate change minister revealed that The Gambia’s assessed contributions to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol since she became a party to date is less than US$10, 000. He said The Gambia is anticipating further support to implement its conditional NDC activities and also through the Green Climate Fund of which a national designated entity has already been established at the ministry of finance.
The climate change minister further noted that the Conference of Parties (COP) in Bali decided to launch a comprehensive process to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the convention through long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012, in order to reach an agreed outcome and adopt a decision at its fifteenth session in Copenhagen. “The Copenhagen Conference did not resolve the range of issues under either of the AWGs and the mandates of the working groups were extended,” he said.
The two agreements were both ratified by the National Assembly.