What are the functions of the Department of Parks & Wildlife Management (DPWM)?
thegambiawildelife (2012) one of the most crucial functions of the Department of Parks & Wildlife Management (DPWM) is to act as the implementer of the Biodiversity commitments made earlier on in Rio by the international community. The Banjul Declaration of 1977, this farsighted piece of legislation was put in place in order to protect what then remained of The Gambia’s wildlife resources and habitats. It recognizes the need for areas threatened with depletion due to human and other factors to be set aside with protected status. The DPWM was given the task of managing, administering and developing the areas around the country, which were subsequently awarded protected status.
In addition, the Department also has full responsibility for wildlife conservation issues outside of these protected areas. It has worked on a number of key programs such as Ramsar Studies, Biodiversity Action Plan, National Ecotourism Strategy and Wetlands International Studies. To efficiently perform the many roles required in administering these areas and to deal with diverse issues, DPWM requires access to funding and resources, a large and well trained staff complement and effective monitoring the control structures. Since recently, this situation is degrading seriously with its list of challenges due to limited government budgetary allocation, inadequate and unqualified manpower, lack of necessary infrastructures and field equipment. These problems have forced the DPWM directorate to prepare, negotiate and implement series of projects geared towards the smooth implementation of its national mandate. These projects such as ICAM I & II, GBMIS (to name a few) have tremendously improve the situation on the ground in terms of infrastructural development, species and habitat monitoring and survey, sensitization and awareness raising, etc…. “Over the past several decades, The Gambia has made great progress in the establishment and management of protected areas and in the conservation of important coastal resources. In addition, with support from the Integrated Coastal and Marine Management Project (I & II) and related initiatives, The Department of Parks and Wildlife has begun to assess and monitor some key biodiversity elements (endangered and threatened species) including turtles, dolphins, manatees, hippos, Sitatunga and birds, among other species and habitats. Despite all these efforts, relatively little is known about the overall status of the biodiversity resources available in the country. Being the dominated figure, the average rural Gambian has utilized biodiversity for its emancipation and material development. This utilization, over the
years, has accumulated serious problems thus impacting on the environment.” For the past years communications tools has been developed to neutralized this negative impact, but the level of effectiveness from these communications tools and resources has not been tested or put under scrutiny, which is one of the main objective of this study.
The report will try to find answers why the above mention species cannot be protected by means of using the communication tools available.
thegambiawildelife (2012) numerous tools have been developed to adequately address the low level of Biodiversity conservation awareness of the citizenry throughout the country. Some of these tools will be described, analyzed and, strategies and methods involve in increasing awareness of biodiversity in The Gambia, will also be debated accordingly. Among the list, the following items can be found: Websites, Newsletter, Posters and Flyers.