4H The Gambia GCCA+ EU and Forestry Filed Staff Visit Meeting with DFP Management Committee
Date: 08 June, 2021
Activity: 4H The Gambia GCCA+ EU and Forestry Filed Staff Visit Meeting with DFP Management Committee
4H The Gambia received funding from the European Union (EU) through the GCCA+ Project to implement activities to Protect and Enhance Reforestation in Dobo Forest Park (DFP) and Enhance Community Participation in the Management of DFP.
In this regard, on the 3rd. June, the 4H The Gambia Programme Director (PD) Project Manager made a visit to the North Bank (NBR) Regional Forestry Directorate (RFD). The 4H Programme Director and GCCA+ Project Manager (PM) were accompanied to the RFD by the field staff stationed in Kerewan.
To have a shared learning discussions with the Regional Forestry Director and team about the project and intended activities as per the project document.
Generally, the process was basically facilitated by the Project Manager through discussion and sharing of available literatures.
Ø Project Background, Development and Outline
During project design, the Regional Forestry office were consulted on several occasions during which the office provided valuable information to 4H The Gambia with relevant information in regards the DFP. In this regard, the RFD were thanked by the 4H Programme Director and PM for the support and thus informed the RFD that now it is time for start of business. The 4H PD reminded the RFD that the project is of short term of one year and require vigorous commitment and time dedicated to implement the activities. To that effect, it was agreed that the Forestry Department staff stationed in Njaba Kunda should be asked for his full time participation to the activities. Furthermore, capacity building themes contained in the project activities to be handled in such manner that all Technical Capacity building aspects to be handled by the Forestry Field Staff whilst Institutional capacity building be cared for by 4HThe Gambia Field Staff and coordinated and supervised by the PM.
Ø Available Literature about the DFP
In relation to literature available for our perusal, much could not be done as the office of the RFD Supervisor could not be accessed as the officer in charge was out into field on trek. However, request was made on the map of the DFP including measurements of the periphery such that the 4H team can put a justification for development of a bill of quantity for the construction of the fence round the periphery of the DFP. This, it was mentioned by both PD and PM that it is urgent as the rainy season is fast approaching, activities implementation (Tenders) should have to be made soonest as this will also have to take some time to mature for award.
Ø Periphery of the DFP
This could not be determined during this visit as the office of the supervisor could not be reached and even with that, the Forestry Directorate indicated that the one available is a long time map without the dimensions of the periphery of the park. It was agreed that we (4H Team and the Forestry Field Staff) conduct a walk of the park using GPS to determine the coordinates that would be used to determine the distances from coordinate to coordinate. This exercise was agreed to be done the following day on the 4th. June, 2021.
Ø Problems/Constraints from the Regional Directorate Perspective
During discussions, it came to light that earlier on, constraints include lack of a viable management team of the park in addition to the major problem of human behavior in annual encroachment into the park and cutting off wet trees in the pretext of getting leaves for animal feed. During this time they end up cutting branches of trees that ultimately die off overtime.
According to the Regional Forestry Directorate, the strategy put in place was to move the field staff and bring in new person who supported in going round to all villages that use the DFP. This was with the view to establish environmental committees that will responsible for the management and up-keep of the park in the direction of their village. This proved productive as ultimately in existence is an established DFP Management Committee.
Ø Conclusions and Recommendations
Final Note: Indicative for Adoption
Conduct meeting with authorities (The Regional Governor, District Chief, Alkalolous and the DFP Management Committee) and stakeholders such as the Department of Livestock, livestock owners in the area plus; The Agency for the Development of Women and Children (ADWAC). With regards to consultations and meeting with these relevant people and authorities, the 4H team visited ADWAC on the same day whose Executive Director indicated support with his team as they have been in the area for several years and have done activities with all the communities in the area. The District Chief was schedule for visit on 9th. June whilst village Alkalolous will be seen during village sensitizations; dates to be determined with the DFP Management Committee meeting on 8th. June, 2021. It was also mentioned and agreed that the representative of the Print Media be contacted and informed of the project for his/her participation when needed or required as all activities are intended to be put in media for publicity to inform the population of activities undertaken by the project in the DFP. Discussions further revealed that it would worth the while to do an evaluation of the DFP Management Committee to learn of their technical capacities in the areas of tree nursery keeping, planting, monitoring, evaluation and management of resources in the park. In addition, another evaluation will be in the area of their institutional capacities in the areas of leadership, management, institutional activities’ monitoring, evaluation, resource mobilization etc. to measure their level of maturity for up-keep of the DFP even after project phase-out. These two evaluations are crucial to measure as they will set the basis for the subsequent training and capacity building activities of the project to prepare the DFP Management Committee and villages’ institutions for continuity and sustainability.
As the park was up to 704 hectares according earlier demarcations, the visit of PM, 4H Field Staff and the Forestry Field staff on the 7th. June, 2021 to make a measure of the coordinates of the park will determine the current area (Periphery) to be fenced for development with the distances to establish the coordinates.
By: Momodou A. Jallow