Abdoulie G. Dibba
The National Coordinating Committee (NCC) of the Voluntary GuidelinesSTAKEHOLDERS TRAINED ON
on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forestry
concluded a two day leadership training in Farafenni, Illiassa
District of the North Bank Region of the Gambia from the 21st to the
22nd of February 2015.According to the organisers, the land, fisheries, forest and other
natural resources, which provide a platform for livelihoods and a
basis for social, cultural and religious practices, are now under
increasing pressure as cultivation areas are being occupied by urban
expansion and people are also abandoning areas because of
degradation, climate change and wildlife intrusion. It is in this
regard that the FAO, together with its partners, initiated the
preparation of internationally accepted guidelines to enhance
governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests called the
“Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land,
Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security.

The Guidelines, which were officially endorsed by the Committee on
World Food Security on 11 May 2012, seek to promote secured tenure
rights and equitable access to land, fisheries and forests as a means
of eradicating hunger and poverty, supporting sustainable development
and enhancing the environment.

Alhagi Basse Mboge, the Chairperson of the NCC, said the Voluntary
Guidelines are being implemented in four countries namely Senegal,
Guinea, Mali and the Gambia with funding from the Network of Farmers’
Organisations in West Africa.

Muhammadou Fayinkeh, the NCC Coordinator, said the leadership training
is part of a series of activities to be implemented in the project and
is meant to raise the awareness of farmers and fisherfolk and forest
management organisations, law makers, civil society, administrators of
land, fisheries and forests on the Voluntary Guidelines.

In his opening statement, the Chief of Illiassa Ebrima Jammeh thanked
the Committee, Farmers’ Platform and NACOFOG for complimenting
Government’s efforts in ensuring food security in the Gambia.

He also called on the farmers’ organisations as well as agricultural
projects to focus on markets for the agricultural produce to reduce
the high rate of post-harvest loses encountered by farmers,
particularly vegetables farmers.

After the opening, two presentations were made on the interdependence
of crop farming, livestock, fisheries and forests and also on the land
laws in the Gambia.