Jinack Island has a wealth of different habitats and species. The waters, soils and habitats of the island which form the natural resources provide a number of benefits to the communities on the island.
These benefits are often called ecosystem services and the ecosystem services provided by Jinack Island’s natural resources include:
- Waters for fishing and harvesting shellfish;
- Soils and water for agriculture;
- Natural habitats for:
- Harvesting foods, fuel and building materials; and
- Grazing stock.
In addition, less significant services at the moment include the tranquillity, wildlife spectacle and leisure fishing available that attract visitors.
Threats to Natural Resources
The threats to the natural resources are primarily due to the communities on the island living at subsistence level and needing to exploit their environment for mere survival. This is exacerbated by lack of awareness of the effects of local land management practices; the lack of knowledge of better land management practices and lack of resources or access to modern technologies.
The Gambian population is growing at 4% per year. The island population is a little over 2,000 at present, but at this growth rate, the population will be 3,000 within 10 years.
The key threats to the natural resources are:
- Habitat degradation due to:
- Expansion of agricultural use of land;
- Inappropriate agricultural land management techniques
- Over exploitation of fisheries; wood;
- Use of fire;
- Cattle ranging;
- Introduced non-native species;
- Pollution from urban areas, fertilisers and pesticides;
- Saline intrusion;
- Impacts on populations of wild species due to:
- Hunting and collection of eggs and skins;
- Disturbance of sensitive species in critical areas and/or critical periods of their life-cycle;
- Victimisation of certain species such as snakes.
Our Strategic Objectives
- Improve the economic viability of the communities of Jinack Island;
- Establish a community awareness building and training programme;
- Establish control and regulation of natural resources; and
- Establish programmes of natural resource enrichment.
Key Dependencies and Interrelationships
- Agreement and partnership with:
- The communities of Jinack Island;
- Government Ministries and Departments (in particular the Department of Parks and Wildlife Management (DPWM);
- Regional and Local Government;
- Other bodies and organisations working for the sustainable future of the communities of Jinack Island;
- Compliance with all laws, procedures and policies of the Gambian Government (at all levels);
- Compliance with the Niumi National Park Management Plan; and
- Integration with the wider sustainable development plan of The Transition Jinack Island Project.