Parliamentarians at the National Assembly on Monday unanimously considered and ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Tabling the Motion before deputies, Hon. Pa Ousman Jarju, Minister of Environment, revealed that at the end of the COP 17 Meeting in Durban, South Africa, parties agreed to establish an Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform (ADP) to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention, applicable to all parties and to come into effect and be implemented from 2020. The ADP, he added concluded its negotiations in Paris on 12 December 2015, where 196 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Agreement.
According to him, among these parties, 48 are members of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group, which includes The Gambia, noting that the LDC group represents the poorest members of the international community and among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. “Under the Chairmanship of The Gambia from January 2011 to December 2012, the group moved to the forefront of the UNFCCC process and had actively engaged in the negotiations leading up to this milestone in multilateral diplomacy,” he added.
Minister Jarju noted that The Gambia has received a total of $52,822,672 to implement various climate change projects all of which were accessible through the LDC fund and more recently through the Green Climate Fund, both of which are funding mechanisms under the UNFCCC.
He stated further that the Gambia’s assessed contributions to the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol since she became a party to date is less than US$10, 000. Furthermore, he added, The Gambia is anticipating further support to implement its conditional NDC activities and also through the Green Climate Fund of which a national designated entity has already been established at the Ministry of Finance.
He further stated that the Paris Agreement recognises that climate change is a common concern of humankind and that parties should, when taking actions, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and inter-generational equity.
He informed the members that the key objectives of the agreement has limit the increase of global average temperature to well below 2°C’ above pre-industrial pursue efforts towards a 1.5°C temperature limit; increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production.
The Environment Minister disclosed further that the ratification of the Paris Agreement is very important to The Gambia for the following reasons: Gambia is highly regarded as a leader in the UN Climate Change process; Gambia plays an active and significant role; a large portion of international investments, financial, technological, institutional and capacity strengthening support is expected to be received by The Gambia to implement its NDC once it is legally implementable; and Gambia stands to lose a considerable amount of international support if it does not ratify the Agreement.
Seconding the Motion, Hon. Ousman Bah, NAM for Sabach Sanjal, said the Motion is non-controversial while urging his colleagues to speedily ratify the Agreement.
by Aji Fatou Faal-Sonko