BUDGET SPEECH 2004
PROGRAMME BASED BUDGETING FOR EFFICIENT RESOURCE ALLOCATION
AND USE WITH A POVERTY REDUCTION DIMENSION
VIII. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Mr. Speaker Sir,
138. The year under review witnessed significant progress in
the consolidation of the participatory forest resource management programme.
There are now 26, 500 hectares of natural forest under community management.
This represents a 10.4% increment over the 24, 000 hectares registered
139. A particular achievement for this year has been low incidence
of bush fires throughout the country, compared to the last dry season.
This achievement can be attributed among other things, to the serious
efforts being injected into the campaign against bush fires. This campaign
became successful mainly due to support received from The Gambia German
Forestry Project and the Central River Division Forestry Project.
140. The Department of Forestry, in order to enhance the contribution
of the sector to national efforts in reducing poverty, concluded a technical
cooperation project with the FAO in February this year to promote market
analysis and development of forest product enterprises across the country.
Fourteen villages in Western Division have already developed enterprise
plans for the production and marketing of forest products, ranging from
timber, fuel wood, and honey, to eco-tourism services.
141. Beekeeping has been accorded particular attention, considering
the enormous potential it has in contributing to food security and poverty
alleviation. It is with this recognition that the Department of Forestry,
in May this year, distributed over two hundred and fifty beehives to
enable communities in Western Division and North Bank Division to embark
on beekeeping. These efforts shall be extended to other divisions, with
funding from either HIPC resources or other projects supported by development
142. The institutional and legal framework for the establishment
of National Desertification Trust Fund has been developed. The main
objective of the fund is to mobilise both national and international
resources for the implementation of a National Action Plan (NAP) to
combat desertification. It is also to co-finance local initiatives of
relevance to the implementation of National Action Plan.
ii. Wildlife and Park Management
143. Our current resource consumption patterns and the rapid
rate of environmental degradation, coupled with demographic pressures,
poverty and maginalization of local communities in decisions pertaining
to natural resource management, have greatly increased the threat to
biodiversity in The Gambia. It is against this backdrop that the Biodiversity/Wildlife
Bill was introduced in 2003, and passed by the National Assembly as
a corrective measure and a policy tool for efficient community-based
natural resource management and conservation.
144. In addition to ensuring the judicious and sustainable management
and utilization of biodiversity in the country at all levels, the Biodiversity/Wildlife
Act of 2003 will help create an appropriate policy and environment for
local community involvement in biodiversity matters as well as ensuring
adequate protection and respect for local knowledge, practices and innovations
as they relate to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
iii. Water Resources
145. Government's commitment to provide access to safe drinking
water and proper sanitation led to a nationwide grassroots Consultation
Meeting in May 2003, with funding from the UNDP. The aim of this meeting
was to formulate a National Water Strategy that is owned and managed
by local communities. With the support of the Japanese Government, a
mission for the Basic Design study on the Integrated Water Project (JIWUP),
which was suspended since 1995 is expected in The Gambia in 2003. This
mission will look into the proposed sites where the Intervention of
the reactivated Japanese Government assistance is most needed in providing
access to safe drinking water.
146. The implementing agency of the Saudi-Sahel Project Phase
III accomplished its full implementation in record time. We are presently
waiting for the completion of this cycle of the project by other benefiting
countries within the Sahel so that phase IV of the project can commence.
iv. National Environment Agency (NEA)
Mr. Speaker Sir,
147. The implementation of the Gambia Environment Action Plan
(GEAP) is now gaining momentum. In the field of hazardous chemical management,
the National Assembly has ratified the Stockholm Convention on Persistent
Organic Pollutants, the worst pollutants known to mankind, and the National
Environment Agency, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment
Program (UNEP) and other collaborators, are actively engaged in a program
to phase out these pollutants.
148. Last year, my predecessor reported on the establishment
of a joint venture, National Environment Youth Corps Project between
Government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which
seeks to engage non-employed Gambian youths in income generating activities
that address environmental concerns and promote public awareness. The
Project is now being fully implemented, though with some constraints
encountered in recruitment, private sector involvement, and land allocation.
About two hundred youths are now engaged in one or more activities identified
by the Project, and we hope that this project would contribute substantially
to poverty reduction in this country.
II. THE WORLD ECONOMY
IV. THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY
V. POVERTY ALLEVIATION
AND THE SOCIAL SECTOR STRATEGY
VI. POVERTY REDUCTION
THROUGH INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
VII. POVERTY REDUCTION
THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPEMENT
X. DIVESTITURE STRATEGY AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES
XI. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES
XIII. FISCAL PROJECTION FOR YEAR 2004
XIV. REVENUE AND BUDGETARY MEASURES FOR 2004