Action Against Desertification

Tackling land degradation and desertification in The Gambia

Action Against Desertification will help improve landscapes in the north of the country


Banjul – With the launch of Action Against Desertification on 24 May, The Gambia accelerates it support to Africa’s Great Green Wall initiative, focusing on empowering rural communities to sustainably manage the country’s natural resources.

According to an official estimate, desertification has caused the loss of nearly 100 000 hectares of forested areas in The Gambia between 1998 and 2009. 

“Building long term food security requires urgent action against desertification to preserve productive systems on which so many vulnerable people's lives depend,” Pa Ousman Jarju, Gambia's Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Forestry, Water and Wildlife, said.  

To assist the country in achieving this, Action Against Desertification, promoting sustainable land management in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, has started operations in The Gambia.

Action Against Desertification is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of states, implemented by FAO and partners with funding from the European Union in the framework of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). 

“This will help The Gambia toward a climate change proof development of the country,” said Darell Sexstone from the European Union (EU) Delegation in The Gambia. 

Speaking on behalf of FAO, Fernando Abaga Edjang, Deputy UNDP Resident Representative, said: “Action Against Desertification focuses on empowering rural communities in line with government efforts to transfer ownership and management responsibility of community forest to local communities.”  

He further explained that Action Against Desertification aims to improve the condition and productivity of the agro-sylvo-pastoral landscapes the northern Regions of the River Gambia, including is North Bank, north of Central River and Upper River Regions.