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Gunjur Environmental Protection & Development Group

Contact Address:
PO Box 21, Banjul
Head office
Kombo South
Gunjur Village
Western Region
The Gambia, West Africa

Tel no: +220 4486001
                     4486020 / 9955063
                     8800986 / 6399407
                     7679627 / 3453232

Fax:              4486020


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 relevant stakeholders.

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 & health.
Established the Gambia's pioneering turtle warden.
Forest management.
Restoration of the coastal lagoon - Bolonfenyo Community Wildlife Reserve.
Yearly village cleaning day.
Yearly 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
Bolong Fenyo Community
Wildlife Reserve
has employed the following personnel.

Executive Director
Beekeeping supervisor
Biodiversity Protected Area Officer
Community Forest officer
2 Community Rangers / turtle monitoring & bird watching specialists
Community Warden, water and sanitation
Ecotourism Officer
Environmental Health and Hygiene Officer
Financial Assistant
Secretary / PA
Security guard

Environmental Threats:
Community ignorance about Bolong Fenyo being a protected nature reserve.
Gathering of fruits & vegetation relied upon by avi-fauna
Illegal poaching, palm wine tapping & ad-hoc settlements
Refuse dumping and pollution
Surface water shortage affecting waterfowl
Tree 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 and Kajabang.

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.
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