To reintegrate the returning migrants and create an alternative to migration for rural youth, The Republic of the Gambia recently submitted a project proposal to the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Impact Programme for USD5.3 million funding under the UNCCD 3S Initiative in collaboration with The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The project is expected to rehabilitate 50 000 hectares of land and create 25 000 green jobs over a five-year period for rural youth, returning migrants, farmers and small to medium scale entrepreneurs in agriculture, aquaculture, agroforestry and ecotourism. The project will be teaching sustainable forest and land management (SFLM) techniques and their application to degraded croplands, rice paddies, forests and fisheries.
The Gambian Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources will act as the executing agency to mobilize project stakeholders and address the environmental and socio-economic impacts that land degradation has on sustainability, security and stability in target communities.
The project will conduct a small business incubator inviting youth and migrants to develop small businesses along the target land-based value chains, including rice production and distribution, wood lots for sustainable fuel wood production and supply contracts for local products that are sustainably produced and transported by local communities. The project is expected to work in collaboration with other initiatives in The Gambia targeted at migrants and unemployed rural youth.