Wednesday, February 1

GANB Executive Director to Attend COP 15 part 2 in Canada

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Modou Sowe, Executive Director of the Gambia Association for Nature and Biodiversity (GANB), will leave the Gambia today Monday to attend the United Nations Conference of Parties on Biodiversity and Nature (COP 15 Part 2) to be held by the Government of Canada from December 7th to 19th, 2022 in Montreal.

In an interview with The Voice, he said COP 15 Part was a virtual conference by China which were also to host Part 2 but got into an agreement with the government of Canada to host the event under the chairmanship of the President of the People’s Republic of China. 

Modou Sowe is the founder of GANB, an idea siphoned from the United States from two US Peace Corps who worked in the Gambia and also established a farm to promote both organic farming and biodiversity. 

Speaking on his commitment to the protection of Nature and Biodiversity, Sow confirmed that he was motivated by Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser’s Singing Frog’s Farm in Sebastapol, California, adding that they support biodiversity and nature with the best products for human consumption.

 According to him, these are the types of ideas needed by Gambians farmers to support biodiversity and mother earth from the negative effects of climate change. 

When asked about his part in the various protests geared toward protecting Monkey Park in Bijilo, the executive director confirmed that he has no issues with the construction of the OIC conference and the US Embassy. “The government could have done better by allocating lands that will not affect one of the greatest homes for biodiversity in the Gambia. In 2018 a portion of the park was destroyed to construct a conference center. The whole park came under threat when the entire area lost its status as a reserve,” Sow pointed out.

He added: “The monkey park is home to many species of trees and since 2018, 112 Mahogany Trees, 15 Baobabs, 10 Silk Cotton Trees, 10 Palm Trees, 40 Kaba plants, and 2 Locust Bean Trees have been planted.

 This is a fantastic step towards helping the monkeys as many used to leave the park to go scavenging in residential areas, due to the lack of trees, resulting in them getting hit by cars when crossing the highway.” 

He noted that the park continues to be the main source of tourist attraction in the country and the sector contributes over 20% of the GDP making it the highest contributor. 

According to Sowe, he is leading a struggle for national development establishing structures like the conference hall and the US embassy at Monkey Park will yield less for the country’s economy when compared to the tourism sector.

“The Gambia Association for Nature and Biodiversity will continue to lead such initiatives. We will continue to join the National Environmental Alliance in the protest against the destruction of nature because that is what we stand for. It is clear to every Gambian that GANB is here to promote the protection of nature and biodiversity, especially in agriculture,” he said.

“The Monkey Park is the most biodiversity environment in the country and its protection is our concern,” he added.