The Banjul Declaration of 18 February 1977. 

It is a sobering reflection that in a relatively short period of our history most of our larger wildlife species have disappeared together with much of the original forest cover. The survival of the wildlife still remaining with us and the setting aside of protected natural habitats for them is the concern of all of us. It would be tragic if this priceless natural heritage, the product of millions of years of evolution, should be further endangered or lost for want of proper concern. This concern is a duty which we owe to ourselves, to our great African heritage and the world. Thus, I solemnly declare that my government pledges its untiring efforts to conserve for now and posterity as wide a spectrum as possible of our remaining flora and fauna.

The Protected Area system of the Gambia dating back to 1916, when Abuko Nature Reserve was protected as a water catchment area, and given Reserve status in 1968, and extended to its current size (105ha.)  In that same year, the River Gambia National Park (500ha) was created, while both Niumi National Park (7500ha.) and Kiang West National Park (11000ha) were gazetted in 1987.  Kiang West represent a departure from the traditional concept of Park Management in that its goal is to conserve the existing flora and fauna in collaboration with the resident population as well for all the Gambian people.  In 1993 Tanji Bird Reserve (612ha) was gazetted and Bao-bolon Wetland Reserve (20,000ha) gazetted in 1997. Very lately in 2008, Tanbi wetlands complex (6,000 ha ) was designated as a national park in the middle of a fast developing urban area, whilst Bolong Fenyo (320 ha) in Gunjur Village, Kombo South; was gazetted as the first community owned wildlife reserve of the country.

Establishment of Abuko Nature Reserve >1968

The Banjul Declaration > 1977

Wildlife Conservation Act > 1977

Establishment of a Wildlife Conservation Unit, under the Office of the President >1977

Enactment of Wildlife Conservation regulations > 1978

Wildlife Conservation Unit upgraded to a Department and transferred to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources > 1981

Kiang West National Park established >1987

Tanbi Wetland Reserve > 2007

River Gambia National Park >1976

Niumi National Park >1986

Tanji River (Karinti) Bird Reserve 1993

Management plans developed for Kiang West National Park and Baobolong

Wetland Reserve > 1990-1995

- NBSA developed -> 1999

Baobolong Wetland Reserve first Ramsar site > 1996

Enactment of the biodiversity/wildlife policy and bill >2003

- Baseline inventory conducted on Tanbi, Baobolong and Niumi PAs -

- Management plans developed for Tanbi, Baobolong & Niumi -