Department of Forestry and Wildlife recently held the graduation of their 13th
batch of 17 forestry and 13 wildlife rangers in Kafuta, Kombo East.
Minister of Forestry, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources Lamin B. Dibba said the institution has been set to cater for the growing need of basic forestry and wildlife knowledge in the management, protection, conservation and rational utilization of these priceless resources.
He said The Gambia aimed at achieving both short and long-term objectives of the forest and wildlife policies, saying the prospect of a balanced ecosystem in advancing the socio-economic development of The Gambia would be achieved.
Minister Dibba said the 20016-2017 batch of 17 forestry and 13 wildlife rangers comprising of 10 female and 20 male are part of the many batches of students who graduated from the institution since its establishment in 1992. “The students have spent more than 3 months probation in the field at the time of their recruitment and successfully underwent additional 9 months practical and theoretical training in seven 7 subject departments of study.”
He expressed optimism that with the caliber of training given to the graduates would enhance them in their work morally, spiritually, mentally and socially.
The department of forestry and department of parks and wildlife, he added, remains committed to sound forest and wildlife management and has attached a great deal of interest in building the capacities of their staff for effective service delivery.
Like many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Minister Dibba said the livelihood of most Gambians depends; to a great extent on the forest and its rich resource base in terms of food, medicine energy, refuge for fauna and income.
According to him, most of the areas once covered with good forest cover with its great wildlife have now been degraded.. “Other forest lands turned into wastelands almost impossible or rather costly to recover presents unpredictable weather patterns with its destructive effects of drought and floods changing year by year coupled with heavy winds washing away the soil nutrients resulting to poor agricultural production and food insecurity.”