ECO-TOURISM CONFERENCE ENDS IN GUNJUR ON SATURDAY
The 2nd edition of Eco Travel Gambia International Bird Fair and Eco-tourism conference has ended at the Dalaba Eco Lodge in Gunjur Kombo South, The Gambia. The conference, which was held on Saturday, 23rd February 2019 was attended by the British High Commissioner to the Gambia, Sharon Wardle among other distinguished personalities.
In his welcoming remarks, the PRO of Eco Travel Gambia – Lamin Jassey said the purpose of the conference is to bring together stakeholders involved in environmental awareness campaigns, eco-tourism and sustainable practices in the Gambia. Mr Jassey thanked the participants for their presence and advise them to preserve the natural resources, make changes we want and makes the best uses of the opportunities we have within the localities.
In his keynote address, Mr Kabiro K Touray (BSc, MSc, MA, PTLLS) said despite his invitation at a short notice, he was honoured and motivated to grace this very important conference. Mr Touray highlighted the importance attached to Eco-tourism development on our social, economic and cultural activities in our daily lives. He emphasize that the tourism sector has a key duty of care and responsibilities of behavioural terms, to observe and consider the local cultures, norms and values of the communities as well as observe local dress codes.
Mr Touray further advice that the foreign office need to prepare leaflets of key information imperative about the behaviours on the ground and dress code. He said Gambia Government have the responsibility of providing conditions of how the tourists behave which every flight embarked from any part of the world be provided with these key information in the form of billboards or leaflets about the country.
Speaking to GunjurOnline, Sharon Wardle British Ambassador to the Gambia indicated that she is honoured to have been invited and happy to be at this important conference. High Commissioner Wardle said she was once invited by the youths of Gunjur to take part in one of their development initiatives and was inspired by the youths who take personal care to build their future. She disclosed that if anyone follows her tweeter handle, you will notice that she has been involved in many youth led development initiatives in the Gambia.
Ambassador Wardle concluded by saying that she is fully committed to working with youth through advocacy, reaching out, engaging and support youth groups and individuals in the Gambia. She finally advised the youths that the best model to success is finding constructive ways to improve our lives as the government alone cannot do it all, they need the people and also the international community has a role to play.
The chief of Kombo South Mr Lamin S Darboe indicated that he is very impressed with the composition of determined youths of his District. He said the essence of being a human being is to serve your fellow human being. Mr Darboe further indicated that he is very grateful to the youths of Kombo South who are ready to put the district on the Gambian Map. The Kombo South Chief emphasised that he is fully and wholeheartedly in support of Eco-tourism in his community.
In conclusion, the Kombo South Chief admonished that as a Gambians and Africans, we must be ready to preserve, protect and maintain our traditional and cultural values. According Mr Darboe, it is only our culture and tradition that we can identify ourselves and through which we can tell the world who we are as a people.
On his part, Mr Lamin Janneh, proprietor of Dalaba Eco Lodge who hosted the conference said he established his project not only for business purposes but also to give back to the community as a citizen. Mr Janneh disclosed that his lodge is always available free of charge to the community at any given time.
The conference was facilitated by Mr Kabiro K Touray, Baboucar Camara -TARUD, Sulayman Jabang- Gunjur Conservative Society, Omar Darbo - Bambo Foundation, Lamin Bojang- Gunjur Museum and Kemo Fatty of Green Up Gambia. Certificates were presented to participants.
Alikalo of Gunjur, Alhagie Gike Darboe gave the closing remarks of the conference.