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Department of Parks & Wildlife Management (DPWM)

DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

Created as a unit in 1977 and up graded to a full departmental status in 1981 the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management (DPWM) is responsible for the conservation, management and sustainable use of the Gambia’s wildlife resources and the protected area system and other wilderness areas, which form an important habitat for wildlife and a source of livelihood for adjacent local communities.

The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan,a Report on the Status of Biodiversity in The Gambia

SECTOR POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND STRATEGIES

The overall goal of the Biodiversity/Wildlife Policy is to create a society that sees itself as an integral part of nature, recognizes different life forms, sustainably uses natural resources and maintains for posterity,

a nurturing and dynamic world rich in biodiversity.

The new wildlife, biodiversity policy aims to increase the protected area coverage from 4.09% to 5% by year 2005. It consists of the following broad elements:

  • To establish National Parks, Nature Reserves and other categories of protected areas covering at least 5% of the total land area for the conservation, protection, management and sustainable use of fauna and flora;
  • To create favorable conditions for the involvement and empowerment of local communities in biodiversity/wildlife schemes so that tangible benefits accrue to these communities;
  • To respect, recognize and ensure adequate protection for the indigenous knowledge, practices and innovations of local communities as they relate to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
  • To increase the scope and coverage of the ongoing nation-wide public awareness and environmental conservation education program to include all other aspects of biodiversity targeted at all strata of the society.
  • To improve the capacity of the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management to deliver professional services to communities and individuals and to administer, develop and manage effectively and in accordance with the wildlife and biodiversity policy goals for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;

·To create respect for and increase awareness on wildlife and to practically demonstrate that Parks and Wildlife Management is another viable land use option that can contribute significantly towards not only rural economics, but national economic development as well.

            

A rescued Heron being released back into the wild by an Official as part of the “back to the wild” Program

DEVELOPMENT OF AN INSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Currently, DPWM is responsible for the management of seven protected areas covering about 4.09% of the total land area. These include: Abuko Nature Resource (105 ha), Kiang West National Park (11,000 ha) Niumi National Park (4,940 ha), Tanji River (Karinti) Bird Reserve (612 ha), River Gambia National Park (570 ha) and Baobolon Wetland Reserve (22,000 ha), and Tanbi Wetland Complex (6,000 ha). In addition in the area of sub-regional cooperation DPWM is working with its counterpart institution in Senegal in the management of the Transfrontier Sine Saloum Delta/Niumi National Park.

The Department is also the Focal Point for important environment related international agreements e.g. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Ramsar Convention, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species,(CITES); Convention on Migratory Species (CMS); African Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement, Algiers Convention, IUCN; Wetlands International, etc.

The new Biodiversity and Wildlife policy aims to increase the protected area coverage from 3.7% to 5% by year 2005

 

Basically for shortage of funds and manpower over the years, certain basic infrastructure was absent in the management of wildlife in the country. Thus in 1998/9 Government developed the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), cataloging the status of biodiversity in the Gambia. The Plan identified the gaps, and developed strategies and action plans on how to fill the identified gaps for the sustainable conservation and use of biodiversity.

In addition, DPWM prepared the Gambia’s first ever-national biodiversity framework legislation after a thorough and highly participatory national review process of the 1977 Wildlife Act to ensure an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and the use of Living Modified Organism (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the environment and human health. Thus, in 2003 the National Assembly passed the Wildlife/Biodiversity Bill into law.

TRANSBOUNDARY COLLABORATION IN WETLAND MANAGEMENT

Within the context of our transboundary cooperation agreements, DPWM teamed up with its homologue in Senegal in the transboundary management of the Sine Salome Delta/Niumi National Park wetland habitat. Through community sensitization on wetlands and their sustainable use, the Department contributed to the restoration of fragile mangrove ecosystems and habitats.

       

A healthy mangrove stand           Riverine vegetation, ideal habitat for wild fauna

Government is finalizing the Integrated Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Management Project for implementation before the end of the year. This project aims to conserve and sustainably use the resources within the Boabolong Wetland Reserve in NBD, the coastal wetland areas of the Bolongfenyo in Gunjur, and the Tanbi Wetland Complex covering Banjul, Stink Corner and Old Cape Road, and Lamin Bolong. Costed at about a million Dollars the project will determine the status and these wetland resources, and develop a viable plan of action for their efficient management for future generations. It also aims to protect the breeding sites of green turtles, which are an endangered species both nationally and globally.

The Wildlife Education Project:

The main focus of this WWF funded 1977/78 project was on environmental education, to raise the environmental awareness among and within the general population, particularly the young and resource users, to improve the education centre at Abuko, and to provide extension equipment and facilities. For the successful implementation of the project, the strengthening of the capacity of the DPWM was taken on-board. This project had the dual role of raising the environmental awareness and disseminating information on departmental missions and activities.
 

     

 

 

Project & Programmes

Uesful Links

  USAID Logo 

 

     Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa

 

    UNEP

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