Environment minister debunks report of Salagi Forest sale

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Lamin Dibba, has ridiculed the ongoing reports making rounds on social media about selling of the Salagi Forest Park to Chinese investors.

In an interview with The Point during a massive tree planting exercise by the Gunjur Youth Movement over the weekend, Mr. Dibba said that Salagi Forest Park was an initiation of The Gambia Government and the community of Salagi. He added that the forest is reserved as one of the country’s forest covers, clarifying that the government of The Gambia has never at any given time sold a portion of the Salagi Forest Park to anyone or any entity.

“Yes I have heard and saw on social media, with people protesting that the The Gambia government has already sold a portion of the Salagi Forest Park to Chinese investors; which was a surprise to me as the minister of environment.”

“So let me tell you clearly. What happened is that the place has never been sold to any foreign investors as it’s being reported by the other media.”

The reason here is that the Chinese construction company at the OIC Conference Hall in Bijilo decides to transfer some of their construction equipment at the said forest park in order to have available space for additional construction of the Islamic conference hall center at Bijilo. So it is not to say that the government has sold a portion of the forest park to the Chinese investors.”

“But even if the place is going to be sold to any investor for what purpose, first, there should be what we called environment impact assessment report activity to indicate if the place is feasible for such intended activity or not. And this to assure you that if the EIA report rejects such activity there is no way of letting out the area for any proposed business activity,” he said.