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Economic Cost of Environmental Degradation at 4-8%

Feb 26, 2009, 3:41 AM | Article By: Alieu Jabang

The World Bank has estimated that the economic cost of environmental degradation in developing countries has reached a percentage rate of about 4-8% of GDP annually, Mrs Ramatoulie Njie-Loum, Marketing Manager Standard Chartered Bank-Gambia Limited, said yesterday.

This comes amid growing concerns, as environmental degradation becomes a universal problem most especially in developing or third world countries.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony of Gambia All Schools Tree Nursery Competition held at Nyofelleh village in Kombo South yesterday, Mrs Njie-Loum said her bank is fully conscious of the impact that environmental degradation can cause on the lives of many. "The government of The Gambia is equally concerned and it is as a result of this that we embark of this tree planting exercise across the country", she said.

According to the Standard Chartered Marketing Manager, the Gambia is by definition, very different from other countries in Africa. "There is no iconic wildlife or history of Eco-tourism, so our own environmental agenda in the country was aligned to reforestation and regeneration of the GambianRiver watershed-the main highway and artery for Gambia's economy".

She stated that "the Gambia government has been driving this agenda-realising that reforestation was critical for its own Eco-tourism initiatives and its own local industries and as such, The Gambian government's "Plant a Million Trees Initiatives" has been widely and actively supported by the media and civil society".

Deputising for the Regional Education Officer Region 2, Mr David Haffner, Principal Education Officer Region 2, said education is being seen as a total concern for all. "This is being reflected in most of our educational thoughts, an idea of which the homes have a vital role to play, but could be a very demanding commodity", he said, adding that it is incumbent upon all to join hands in contributing positively to meet the challenges of these most pressing demands.

For his part, the Associate Director of US Peace Corps in the

Gambia Dr
Rodney Stubina said trees are so important to our environment that we cannot go without them. He thus called on all to join hands in embarking on a massive tree planting exercise.

Other speakers on the occasion include the Imam of the village Manku Barrow, Alkalo Foday Barrow among others.

The programme was sponsored and supported by Standard Chartered Bank-Gambia, United States Embassy, US Peace Corps and the Department of State for Basic and Secondary Education.