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The Gambia

The Gambia is a Western African country entirely surrounded by Senegal except for a narrow 80km long coast on the Atlantic ocean. It consists of a small strip of land following the course of the Gambia river for 480km inland. It is the smallest country within mainland Africa at 11,295 km², an area the size Jamaica or Qatar.


The country was created in 1889 as the result of territorial negotiations between the French, who controlled Senegal and most of West Africa and the British empire, which had a strong foothold at the mouth of the river. The British colony obtained its independence in 1965 and has never changed borders.


Prior to this, the port of Banjul, the capital of the country had been a trading centre between local Soninke, Malinke or Wolof population and Arab merchants. It was also the location of the first British slave trading post, set up in 1661. King Kunta Kinte, a very popular figure in the American imaginary of an unflinching slave, was born on the shores of the Gambia in 1750. 


The Gambia’s economy mostly consists of traditional subsistence farming with a historical focus on groundnuts for exportation. About a third of the domestic product comes from agriculture, a sector that employs 70% of the population. Fishing and tourism are also major parts of its economic activities. Overall, the country’s level of development remains low, ranking at 174/189 on the Human Development Index. 


The “Smiling Coast of Africa” faces many challenges, from poverty to deforestation. Sustainable development can reconcile these seemingly opposing issues into one objective that includes humans, nature and the planet together as one.


TOTAL POPULATION

1.9 million YEAR 2014

CO2 EMISSIONS

513 kt COUNTRY, YEAR 2014

822,800 kt Sub-Saharan Africa, YEAR 2014

“A 44% emissions cut by 2025, compared to business as usual projections, and a 45% cut by 2030.”

PARIS AGREEMENT TARGET

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

THE GAMBIA | ALL PROJECTS

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john gaffey donated € 12 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Adi Lazos donated € 22 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Juliana Medaglia donated € 20 to Fighting the Silent Disappearance of the Great Brazilian Savannah. FREDERIC ACHARD donated € 50 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Thalita Medaglia donated € 15 to Fighting the Silent Disappearance of the Great Brazilian Savannah. Katie Hereing donated € 25 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Angelica Seminara donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Nevena Vlaykova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Melanie Bitto donated € 40 to Application of satellite telemetry data to better understand the breeding strategies of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Cristiano Rocco Marra donated € 30 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Ro Leaver donated € 30 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Phili Denning donated € 25 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Isabel gregory donated € 20 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Akshay Pai donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Emma Burnett donated € 50 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Boyan Mihaylov donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. François Leclerc donated € 40 to Application of satellite telemetry data to better understand the breeding strategies of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Clara Hermansson donated € 40 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Peter Thompson donated € 10 to Environmental Protection through Greenery and Awareness Interventions in Kabul and Wardak. Vihra Dincheva donated € 30 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Kris Bertens donated € 50 to Educating Montenegro's New Generation to Break Free from Litter and Plastic. Anna Lupanova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Simona Dakova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Neicho Rahnev donated € 10 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Pavel Boev donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Francesco Zanetto donated € 60 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Hind Alsalloom donated € 50 to Iraqi Youth Climate Change Movement. Francesca Cardani donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Michele Frison donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Fabio Sai donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Paola Tresca donated € 27 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Andrea Mongiello donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Matteo Masi donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Massimo Sacco donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Ananda Nidhi donated € 20 to Toranam: Strengthening Agroforestry in Andhra Pradesh. andrea borsetto donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. ALESSIO GIANNONI donated € 25 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Laura Zorzetto donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Rossana Mattachini donated € 20 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Elsa De Grandi donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Empowering Mangrove Women for a Healthy & Resilient Ecosystem. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Agro Eco Village Project in Ri-Bhoi District. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Building an Efficient Technology for Women's Economic Empowerment. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Strengthening Malian Forest Management to Protect Biodiversity and Alleviate Poverty. Noah Silver donated € 30 to Toxic Chemicals and Waste Sensitization for Vulnerable Communities. Stefania Butera donated € 25 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

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CLIMATE SIGNIFICANCE

Despite intense ground pressure due to a high density and a historical presence of humans, wildlife is bustling and includes baboons, pygmy hippos - one of Plan A’s faves - and more than 500 bird species. 

The majority of Gambians rely on the local biodiversity for basic needs. Biofuel for cooking and heating represent 85% of total Gambian needs and bushmeat hunting is fairly common. The Gambia river also provides fish for subsistence and commerce. Radical changes or loss of ecosystem wealth in the Gambia would be catastrophic for the country, lowering living standards and accelerating the demise of the country’s natural assets.

43% of the Gambia is still covered by dense forest. The Gambia has confirmed the disappearance from its territory of 13 species of mammals already, including the African forest elephant. The government has made efforts to effectively protect the remaining habitats and wildlife and has known success. Baboon Island, a conservation zone for the endangered great ape, is actually completely forbidden to humans! However, levels of protections remain low, and the Gambia has set an objective of protecting 5% of its territory by 2020. 

Average rainfall has (already) declined by 25-30% over the last 30 years, a radical change from the pre-industrial setting that is challenging the livelihoods of nut producers and countless species. The Gambia represents less than 0.001% of Sub-Saharan CO₂ emissions. 


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DATA INSIGHTS

The World Bank classifies the Gambia as a low-income country. the Gambia’s position in the fight against climate change is better understood by observing its historical of carbon emissions and exposure to climate risk. The following plots provide an overview of the Gambia’s historic greenhouse gas emissions in perspective with global emission levels, as well as the country’s relative vulnerability and preparedness to climate change.


The Gambia Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Gambia’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change from 1990

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%.


From 1990 to 2008, the Gambia’s emissions increased dramatically by 182%, driven by the expansion of agriculture and livestock population growth. After emissions reductions between 2008 and 2009, the Gambia’s emissions were back on the rise and grew to nearly 200% of its 1990 level in 2012. The waste sector is responsible for the largest share (79%) of the Gambia’ emissions, followed by the agriculture sector (16%). Within the waste sector, the majority of emissions come from the solid waste disposal landfill, whereas the agriculture-related emissions come from livestock digestion, manure management and burning of savannah land. 


Despite having a strong growth in emissions, the Gambia made only a small contribution to 2012 African GHG emissions. However, there is still room for improvement. To reduce the country’s emissions, the Gambia needs to implement effective waste management systems. Changes in farming practices such as improving manure management and developing sustainable agriculture systems still present a challenge in the future, but will reduce the country’s emissions. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)


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The Gambia Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Gambia’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change from 1990

graph

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%.


From 1990 to 2008, the Gambia’s emissions increased dramatically by 182%, driven by the expansion of agriculture and livestock population growth. After emissions reductions between 2008 and 2009, the Gambia’s emissions were back on the rise and grew to nearly 200% of its 1990 level in 2012. The waste sector is responsible for the largest share (79%) of the Gambia’ emissions, followed by the agriculture sector (16%). Within the waste sector, the majority of emissions come from the solid waste disposal landfill, whereas the agriculture-related emissions come from livestock digestion, manure management and burning of savannah land. 


Despite having a strong growth in emissions, the Gambia made only a small contribution to 2012 African GHG emissions. However, there is still room for improvement. To reduce the country’s emissions, the Gambia needs to implement effective waste management systems. Changes in farming practices such as improving manure management and developing sustainable agriculture systems still present a challenge in the future, but will reduce the country’s emissions. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)


The Gambia Climate Vulnerability and Readiness (CVRI)

The Gambia’s vulnerability and readiness to combat climate change

This graph ranks a country’s climate performance by measuring its readiness (x-axis) and its vulnerability (y-axis). Both are measured from 0 - 1 (1 being the most ready or most vulnerable). This index combines indicators of a country’s exposure to climate change and others that measure the country’s potential to withstand those shocks. 


Each dot in this plot represents a country. The countries in most urgent situations are on the top left of the graph whilst the most resilient ones stand at the bottom right. 


The Gambia falls under the high vulnerability to climate change and low level of adaptation capacity category. Due to changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, crop yields are expected to decrease significantly, which could result in a severe food crisis, famine and malnutrition. Heavy rainfall caused by climate change is likely to induce floods that threaten the population living in flood-prone areas, endangering the lives of residents. In order to respond to climate-related disasters, strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of response systems is also essential. (Source: ND-GAIN, 2018)


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.



TAKE ACTION

The Gambia Climate Vulnerability and Readiness (CVRI)

The Gambia’s vulnerability and readiness to combat climate change

graph

This graph ranks a country’s climate performance by measuring its readiness (x-axis) and its vulnerability (y-axis). Both are measured from 0 - 1 (1 being the most ready or most vulnerable). This index combines indicators of a country’s exposure to climate change and others that measure the country’s potential to withstand those shocks. 


Each dot in this plot represents a country. The countries in most urgent situations are on the top left of the graph whilst the most resilient ones stand at the bottom right. 


The Gambia falls under the high vulnerability to climate change and low level of adaptation capacity category. Due to changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, crop yields are expected to decrease significantly, which could result in a severe food crisis, famine and malnutrition. Heavy rainfall caused by climate change is likely to induce floods that threaten the population living in flood-prone areas, endangering the lives of residents. In order to respond to climate-related disasters, strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of response systems is also essential. (Source: ND-GAIN, 2018)


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.



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