Importance of Forest

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Planting trees is a sunnah (practice) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and its reward continues even after the death of the person who plants a tree. Today the world is facing environmental problems. Global warming, ozone depletion and pollution are burning issues. Solution to these problems lies in planting more trees and implementing sound environmental policies. Trees are the prime source of environmental purification and beautification. Trees inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, reduce temperature and create a healthy effect, both physically and psychologically, on human beings.

Two weeks ago, the minister of Forestry, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources Lamin B. Dibba led a mass tree planting exercise which saw the planting of over 1, 500 different species of trees at the Mandinaba Community Forest. The move forms part of the village annual tree planting exercise. Young people and the community’s development committee now intends to transform the forest park into an Eco Tourism center that can contribute to youth employment that would enable young people to stay and work in their community.

The minister at the exercise reminded the rapid depletion of the country’s forest especially at the border lines.

However, the exercise was a hailed by many environmentalists as it was supported by the European Union funded Youth Empower Project (YEP) and Green-Up Gambia. The move is part of efforts to restore the country’s forest vegetation cover and provide a source of income and employment for the community.

It is high time people take ownership of their communities and protect their environment from further exploitation.

The rate at which the country’s forest cover is depleting is a cause of concern.

A large number of people are chopping down trees to use as wood and fuel to cook food. Some people are also involved in cutting trees for their personal gains. There is no doubt that trees are important determinants of rainfall and their limited availability can lead to low agricultural production. Therefore, let’s all join the crusade by each individual planning a tree in a community to regenerate the lost vegetation.

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt