Ministry and various stakeholders have recently validated The Gambia National
Forest Investment Plan at the Baobab holiday resort in Bijilo.
Funded by the West African regional bloc, Ecowas, the validation forum brought together key stakeholders in the forestry sector.
Vabah Gayeflor, Ecowas special representative in The Gambia said the validated document would support the country in advocating and mobilizing resources for the effective implementation of the National Investment Plan. “This is therefore decisive and critical period in the member states efforts for creating an enabling environment for the sustainable management of forest and wildlife in our sub region.”
According to her, in West Africa, forest contributes significantly to national economy of countries with high timber export potential, timber manufacturing that feeds the private sector for timber processing for furniture and housing construction.
She said the rate of forest degradation is accelerating in the face of climate change and that is affecting the region in various ways, while evidence abound in weak cooperation between the states in shared and trans boundary forest resources management.
Gayeflor said the Ecowas commission adopted the West Africa Forest Convergence Plan in December 2003 with the goal to federate efforts to achieve concerted and sustainable management of West African forest ecosystem. “This targets to contribute to the achievement of sustainable forestry resource management and the Sustainable Development Goals in our region.”
She said as part of the implementation of the forest convergence plan from 2016 to 2017, Ecowas Commission supported all the 15 member states to develop and validate their national forest investment programmes. “13 out of 15 national forest investment plans were developed with financial and technical support from FAO.”
Gambia’s environment minister Lamin Dibba said the main objective of the validation is to strengthen the capacity of The Gambia in the advocacy and mobilization of resources for a smooth implementation of its national forest investment plan.