PO Box 21, Banjul
The Gambia, West Africa
Tel no: +220 4486001
8800986 / 6399407
7679627 / 3453232
GEPADG, in Gambia, is a voluntary, community based organisation
which was established in Banjul in 1992 following the
challenge laid down by UN's Agenda 21 encouraging local
governments and communities to implement the concept
of sustainable development by developing their own tailored
programmes. It is a non-profit, grassroots organisation
located in the village of Gunjur which is on the Atlantic
coast of southern Gambia.
The goals of the Gunjur Environmental Protection and
Development Group is to deliver long-lasting, sustainable
schemes to tackle poverty by preventing deforestation
and the degradation of coastal ecosystems and mangroves.
It focuses on improving the livelihoods of rural people,
community re-forestation initiatives, eco-tourism development,
micro-financing, agro-forestry and vegetable gardening
for local women.
To achieve these ends GEPADG understood that it needed
the broader participation of the community with regards
to conservation and natural resources management. As
a result the first ever conference of its kind was held
in February, 1998 at the grassroots level attended by
One of their most prominent programmes is the integrated
coastal and marine biodiversity management (ICAM) project
which was funded by the WWF and the Global Environment
Facility (GEF) / World Bank Group.
• Advocating for an expansion of sustainable
modes of development.
• Enhancing community sanitation
• Established the Gambia's pioneering
• Forest management.
of the coastal lagoon - Bolonfenyo Community Wildlife
• Yearly village cleaning day.
tree planting exercises.
GEPADG has already begun the work of conserving and
restoring the lagoon with assistance from several international
donors. To oversee and carry out the marine restoration
and protection project the
Wildlife Reserve has employed the
• Executive Director
• Biodiversity Protected Area Officer
• Community Forest officer
• 2 Community Rangers / turtle monitoring & bird
• Community Warden, water and
• Ecotourism Officer
Health and Hygiene Officer
• Financial Assistant
• Secretary / PA
• Security guard
• Community ignorance about Bolong Fenyo being a protected
Gathering of fruits & vegetation relied upon by
• Illegal poaching, palm wine tapping
& ad-hoc settlements
• Refuse dumping and pollution
• Surface water shortage affecting waterfowl
felling for firewood
• Wild bushfires
The staff at the GEPADG headquarters are assisted by
the Management Committee which is made up of the board
of trustees, The Gunjur Project, Village Development
Committee (VDC), Council of Elders and representatives
from the nearby villages of Sanyang, Domung, Gunjur
Bolonfenyo Community Wildlife Reserve:
The protected coastal marine area and its lagoon was
created in March 2008 as the Gambia's first community
wildlife reserve and covers and area of 320 hectares.
The sanctuary has a wide variety of birds and animals.
It is frequented by at least 75 resident and Afro-Palearctic
migrants, woodland and waterfowl bird species and is
an important bird areas. Birdwatchers can spot the African
Spoonbill, Black-headed Heron, Goliath Heron, Yellow-Crowned
Gonolek, Pied Avocets, Long-tailed Cormorant, White-crowned
robin-chats. There are also Hamerkop, White-faced Whistling
Ducks, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Little Grebe, Northern
Shovelers, Common Moorhen, African Jacana, Black-billed
Wood Dove, Lizard Buzzard, Common Teals, Red-eyed, Vinaceous
Dove, Little Stints, terns, gulls and other avian.
So far 27 reptilian and mammalian species have been
listed. Examples are Bushbuck, spitting cobra, chameleon,
Epaulet fruit bats, Senegal bush baby, laughing / spotted
hyena (Crocuta crocuta), puff adder, western red colobus
monkeys, black forest cobra, African rock python to
name but a few.
Just off the Atlantic coastline are humpback dolphins
(Sousa teuszi), mudskippers, several crab species, Mediterranean
monk seal (monadus monadus), green turtles (Chelonia
mydas), upside down jellyfish (Cassiopea) and
other aquatic life.
Typical vegetation in the scrub and wooded areas are
the African locust bean, rhun palm, Acacia spp. Wattles,
figs and other types of flora. The Red and White mangroves
are important breeding and feeding grounds for various
species of shrimps, oysters, molluscs and other crustaceans.