The National Environment Agency (NEA) recently held a two-day international conference on the African Environment Information Network (AEIN) at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.
The aim of the workshop was to harness and enhance access to information and knowledge to support the management of Africa’s environmental resources and assets for sustainable development.
The overriding goal is to strengthen the capacity of African countries to use good quality information on environmental assets to make informed investments choices at national and sub-regional levels.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Momodou B. Sarr, executive director of NEA, said that at the preparatory process of The Gambia Environmental Action Plan (GEAP), the need to gather relevant data on the environment was considered as key national priority.
He pointed out that the EIS programme has registered tremendous success since its inception “but there is still a lot left to be accomplished.
Mr Sarr assured participants that the second phase of the AEIN implementation is indeed very welcome. “The AEIN process in its current form is a brilliant idea, because it does not only build capacity in terms of efficiency and harnessing professional skills for analyzing data,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the representative of the Network for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa (NESDA), Mr. Loessou Seree Michel from Ivory Coast, said NESDA had been involved in the AEIN as the collaborating centre for West Africa and had coordinated the elaboration of the AEIN report in West Africa.
He pointed out that the launching of the AEIN initiative took place at the right time as it addressed the need for reliable updating.
“A key objective of the initiative is to build capacity for establishing the essential data foundation needed to support country with sustainable development initiatives focusing on the environment,” he noted.