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Communities forestry committee trained on fire management plan

Jan 4, 2011, 11:48 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The forestry department under the Ministry of Forestry and the Environment recently concluded one-week training for community forestry on fire management plan and related environmental issues in Sanyang village, Kombo South.

The training that targeted 12 participants form URR, LRR, CRR, NBR and WCR was funded by the UNDP.

Speaking at the training, the national focal person on national forestry programme at the Department of Forestry, Sambou Nget, said the Gambia government has acquired funding from the UNDP to support the environment and the energy sector through the Ministry of Forestry and Environment.

“The project aims to support these sectors to enhance capacities and effectively mainstream energy and environmental concerns into regional and local policies, programmes and plans to reverse the current trend of natural resource degradation and attain the MDGs and PRSP II objectives,” he explained.

Mr. Nget says the project aims to achieve four key outputs which include strengthening national and decentralised capacities for environmental mainstreaming and management; mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change and disasters including support ; and building the capacity of the environment and energy sectors to integrate environmental considerations into national and local policies, strategies and programmes and evaluating their linkages with economic and social development plans.

The other aims of the project, he continues, are to enhance forest management capacities to empower local communities to sustainable manage and use forest resources for improved food security and protection of the forest cover; to promote biodiversity conservation and ensure effective management of the protected areas; to contribute to poverty alleviation and reduce biodiversity loss; and to promote the use of alternate energy and energy-efficient technologies to reduce energy consumption, especially fuel wood.

Mr. Nget used the opportunity to thank the UNDP for its support towards the sustainability of the country’s forest cover.

For his part, the director of forestry, Abdoulie Sanneh, expressed similar sentiments and thanked the UNDP as well as the Gambia government for the importance it attaches to the forestry department.

Mr. Sanneh added that his department deemed it necessary to build the capacity of its forestry community committee members on fire management plan since it is now dry season.

“The government of the day is now advocating for community ownership of the forest management,” he said.