this west african country, astride the Gambia River, is entirely surrounded, on land, by Senegal, and has a land area of 4,007 sq. mi. (10,380 sq. km.), with a population of 1,517,000 (2006 est.), and a population density of 397.6 people per sq. mi. (153.5 people per sq. km.). Some 18 percent of the land is arable, with a further 9 percent used for meadows and pasture, mainly for cattle. In addition, 28 percent of the country is forested.
The electricity production in Gambia is entirely from fossil fuels. Its main power station had the only significant failure from the Year-2000 (Y2K) computer software problem, which has since been resolved. The country has had a steady carbon dioxide emission rate per capita, at 0.2 metric tons per person 1990-2003. All the carbon emissions in the country come from liquid fuels. Because of its geography, there is little need for extensive car ownership, especially with the Gambia Public Transport Corporation providing a well-regulated bush taxi service for Banjul, the capital, and other parts of the country.
Much of the country is low-lying, and Gambia is at risk of flooding with the rising water levels from global warming and climate change, and coastal erosion. This can already be seen at the beaches around Cape St. Mary and at Kololi, where sections of what had been coastline have disappeared since the early 1990s. Dutch technology is now used to try to stem this. The Gambian government of Sir Dawda Jawara ratified the Vienna Convention in 1990, and took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992. The government of Yahya Jammeh accepted the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on June 1, 2001, with it coming into force on February 16, 2005.
SEE ALSo: Sea Level, Rising; Senegal; Transportation.
bibliography. K.M. Baker and R.L. Edmonds, "Transfer of Taiwanese Ideas and Technology to The Gambia, West Africa: A Viable Approach to Rural Development," Geographical Journal (v.170/3, 2004); Katharina Kane, The Gambia & Senegal (Lonely Planet, 2006); Clare Madge, "Collected Food and Domestic Knowledge in The Gambia, West Africa," Geographical Journal (v.160/3, 1994); World Resources Institute, "Gambia—Climate and Atmosphere," www.earthtrends.wri.org (cited October 2007).
JUSTIN CORFIELD Geelong Grammar School, Australia
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