Dec 14, 2015, 11:26 AM
The project, called Action Against Desertification, is out to ensure that urgent action is taken to combat desertification in The Gambia, “which has already manifested in the country’s North Bank Region”.
We would like to thank the donors of the project, an AU project which is under the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI).
The project, according to reports, is funded by the European Union, executed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and implemented by the Gambia’s Department of Forestry.
It is no gainsaying that The Gambia, like other Sahelian countries in the sub-region, is confronted with the familiar set of problems associated with agriculture, biodiversity loss, land degradation and out-ward youth migration.
As our Environment minister said at the project launching ceremony in Kerewan, deforestation and land degradation are a major environmental problem that threatens agricultural productivity, and as a result directly affect the livelihood of thousands of rural populations.
We, therefore, need sustainable land management strategies to keep desertification at bay and improve productivity in agriculture, especially.
Activities such as deforestation and other forms of environmental exploitation cause global warming or the heating up of the planet as a result of gradual increase in the overall temperature of the atmosphere of the earth, which is generally attributed to the greenhouse gases.
“Through sustainable land management efforts, we can improve the productivity of our agricultural land and thereby enhance food security of local communities and the attainment of Vision 2020,” the minister said.
There are indeed lots of benefits to be derived from the Action Against Desertification project, as it seeks to address the problems of land degradation/deforestation, improve food security and ameliorate the impacts of climate change in the northern part of the country by promoting and piloting sustainable land management approaches.
The fact that the government has over the years put measures and policies in place to deter desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) shows how serious it is prepared to tackle DLDD and maintain an environment of improved productivity in agriculture and related sectors.
“The government in 2015 transferred ownership and management responsibility of community forests back to local communities, to increase their access and guaranty tenure security and socio-economic benefits to these local communities,” the minister said.
“The community forestry management programme introduced in the 1990s has been exemplary in the whole of Africa and, as we speak today, more than 400 communities are participating in this programme, and are managing more than 31,000 hectares of forests as community forests.”
This is highly commended, and we should continue to promote sustainable land management approaches.
Our lives are roundly affected by our environment; so let’s take care of our environment, since as we do so we are also taking care of our lives.
“Deforestation and other forms of environmental exploitation cause global warming, gravely affect life”