Eco Travel Gambia (ETG) organises seminar on Environment,Ecology and Eco-Tourism
Eco Travel Gambia (ETG) on Saturday organised a day seminar on the theme "environment, ecology and ecotourism" in Gunjur Kombo South. The event which was held at the Gunjur Village Museum is designed to raise awareness on the importance of environmental development, resources, ecology and to advance ecotourism for the benefit of the local people. Nearly 40 participants in and around Gunjur attended the Seminar at the museum hall.
Speakers included members of ETG and experts in other areas. Among the speakers was Omar A.J Saho who spoke on the importance of traditional ecological knowledge in conservation. He said, “The idea of coming up with this event is an outstanding demonstration of intelligence that can help Gambia to efficiently facilitate and implement its youth development agendas in national development. Together we can combat environmental degradation, promote sustainable conservation of our natural resources through local participation, and as well foster ecotourism development in The Gambia.”
Ahmed Manjang, a Biomedical Scientist, spoke on Eco health. He called on all to protect and preserve the environment which he says is essential to our living. "Every youth must find an environmental group and join it" he noted. Mr Manjang further said that according to research "13% of all deaths is caused by environmental degradation". He therefore challenged all to engage in environmental development, rather than destruction.
Also speaking at the seminar was Badara N. Bajo, Executive Director of Gunjur Environmental Protection and Development Group (GEPADG), who spoke on the Eco-concept of community based wildlife reserve.
Bai Jabang, Director of TARUD called on all the participants to show commitment towards preserving and protecting the environment. He also emphasised the importance of the seminar as he affirms: "it is important in the sense that, it brings people together with a common objective. The people coming together are thinking environment, there are host of issues affecting them individually, as groups, communities and also everyone across the entire country. So coming out with an action plan as way forward shows how important this meeting is"
Other speakers include: Lamin Bojang, Buba Touray, Lamin Mbakau Jammeh, Abdou Sarr and Sulayman Jabang who all lectured on different areas on the theme of the seminar. The seminar also comprised of a tour of the museum and the environment through which environmental experts introduced and interpreted some trees and their medical uses and values to the participants, and also escorted them inside the museum where ancient artefacts were found.
The closing stages of the seminar was dominated by an interesting general discussion on issues affecting the environment and the commitments people should show. These conversations generated important ideas and recommendations that could be put in place to control or minimise environmental damages. Eco Travel Gambia group and the participants agreed to meet again and form an environmental activist association that will be committed to implementing the plans to help conserve and preserve the environment.
At the end of the event, participants and speakers both highlighted the importance of the seminar.Omar A.J Saho a member of ETG indicated that the program was a success and said that people expressed divergent views, collective concerns and learnt a lot: "today so many people went home with a huge body of knowledge about environment, ecology and ecotourism, for that being the case we term it as very successful and important". Mr Saho added: "down the line during the general discussion we were able to streamline an activist association, that is going to be based on national agenda, national consensus to develop environmental activism as a new field. That is going to be very, very strong in Gunjur, in Gambia and Africa to address both local and global concern". He call on all to promote, protect, preserve and conserve the environment for generations to come.
Participants at the seminar inspecting some plants used for medical purposes
Eco Travel Gambia (ETG) is an association established in 2013 with the aim of "Promoting Sustainable Tourism, Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development". Membership of the group is across the country but, due to traveling constrains other members face in attending their activities, almost all current members are resident in Gunjur.