#Article (Archive)

Deforestation - A cause for concern

Dec 28, 2010, 1:58 PM

The formulation of the new national Forest Policy by the Ministry of Forestry and the Environment is a good move by the Gambia government.

This is indeed so, considering the fact that, at the moment, the world is faced with a lot of environmental challenges, notable among them the problem of deforestation, which contributes to climate change.

In our view, the issue of bush fires and deforestation, which pose a big problem in this country, and our part of the world, should be properly captured in the document.

The new policy document should also provide for having the public to be well sensitized about the relevant environmental issues and problems.

Again, this is because deforestation can have an adverse effect on the socio-economic development of any nation.

For instance, people should be adequately enlightened about the effects of felling a tree and bush fires, and the legal penalties attached to wanton destruction of the forest cover.

Moreover, a sound forestry policy would complement the new national agricultural investment programme unveiled by the government recently.

In any case, any policy in this forestry sub sector must also be accompanied by an action plan.

Community management of forests must be at the core of such plans, for the sustainability of national programmes in this area.

Finally, our message to the nation is:

Let us try to preserve our forests for the generations yet born to benefit from them.

One way of ensuring this is to take tree planting seriously, since trees are good for a healthy environment.

Now that the policy and action plan have been produced, it is incumbent upon the Department of Forestry to engage both local and international partners, and work with them to assist in funding and support for their effective implementation to take place.