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REPORT: Mainstreaming climate change resilience into development planning in the Gambia


Between November 2011 and October 2012, government staff from diverse backgrounds came together at a course facilitated by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) with support from CDKN to share and reflect on their countries’ experience and needs around integrating climate change into development planning. Based on these discussions, they identified three building blocks for successful mainstreaming: an enabling environment, policies and planning, and projects and programmes.

The enabling environment for mainstreaming includes the political will to make climate policy and the information services that guide it. The second block, planning and policy, includes the policy frameworks together with institutional arrangements and finance mechanisms. The projects and programmes block takes mainstreaming to the project level. The three blocks are non-hierarchical and non-sequential; in some cases, strategic planning led by technocrats may come before high-level political will, or a country may be pursuing important development goals mainly through individual projects.

This country paper, authored by Isatou F. Camara, reflects the Gambia’s experience against this framework.

On the Gambia’s efforts, Camara concludes that:

“Political will has been reflected in the fact that cabinet approval has been sought for climate-relevant policies. The NAPA, the Climate Change Action Plan and the Low Carbon Strategy provide a policy basis for national-level responses to climate change. Climate mainstreaming is happening, integration into the medium-term National Agricultural Investment Plan (2011–2015), for example, and into the four-year PAGE. The Climate Change Action Plan has been prepared as a strategy to implement PAGE. Integrating climate into decentralised development planning and implementation, supported by a financial mechanism, will allow local- to national-level climate change responses and coherent mainstreaming.”

Read the full report here.

Isatou F. Camara is a senior economist at the directorate of development planning in the Gambian Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. She has worked with the government of the Gambia for over a year and has a masters degree in agricultural economics.

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