Gunjur hosts International Bird Fair and Ecotourism Conference
Eco Travel Gambia, a community-based organisation in The Gambia established with the objective of promoting ecotourism, sustainable development and environmental preservation over the weekend organised a bird fair in Gunjur. The event dubbed “Gunjur International Bird Fair and Ecotourism Conference” took place at Dalaba Eco-Lodge in Gunjur village on Saturday 3rd February, 2018.
Speaking to this medium on the development, Omar A.J Saho, the founder of the organisation says since they commenced operations in 2013, they have been actively involved in promoting the socioeconomic livelihood of the local communities through ecotourism, as well as advocating for environmental and ecological sustainability in The Gambia. He added: “The Gambia has a wide variety of geographical features such as wetlands, forests, and beautiful coastline, all of which provides nesting ground and breeding spot for migratory and endemic birds. The country is rich and unique in ecological resources which needs conservation efforts, and wonderful ecotourism resorts in need of publicity.
The event is The Gambia’s first ever community-based birdwatching and ecotourism conference; locally organised by young people with the vision of fostering conservation and ecotourism”.
The Bird Fair and Ecotourism Conference, he mentioned, is to create awareness about the ecology of birds and birding hot-spots in and around Gunjur village, promote ecotourism in Gunjur and to promote birding as an important niche tourism market in Gunjur village. However, Omar hastens to add that the activities mentioned do not encompass the limit of their ambitions, disclosing:
“We aim to foster awareness and understanding about the general concept of ecology and conservation through organising of educational events such as conferences, fairs and symposiums . We wish to raise awareness about the natural and cultural heritage of The Gambia through tourism events”. Various speakers at the event, namely Lamin Bojang, Lamin Jassey and Bubacarr Saho expressed interest in strengthening their efforts as environmental activists and development agents in raising public awareness and engaging stakeholders on the importance of ecological conservation and preservation of The Gambia’s terrestrial ecosystem.
During the closing session, Eco Travel Gambia expressed thanks to all the participants for taking part in the event. Eco-Travel Gambia also expresses appreciation to sponsors for their ‘generous’ financial support.
Omar A.J Saho concluded: “The organisation’s sincere appreciation also goes to its executive members for providing all the logistics towards organising this event. We also thank Mr. Lamin Kere Janneh for providing us with the venue at Dalaba Eco-Lodge to organise the Gunjur International Bird Fair & Ecotourism Conference at no cost”. The event brings together over 30 delegates comprising of bird experts, eco-tourists and nature lovers from The Gambia, Australia and Holland.