Aug 29, 2011, 12:53 PM
The initiative was taken by a community-based organization based in Darsilami called the Association for Food Environmental Security (AFES) with support from the UNDP GEF project.
Faburama Fofana, speaking at the planting exercise of 11, 500 seedlings in Darsilami recently, said the association targets to plant 80, 000 mangrove seedlings in Karantaba, Bakang and Dasilami, which are hard hit by the effects of climate change due to the loss of mangroves and disappearance of the vegetation cover.
Fofana said mitigating the effects of climate change calls for the concerted efforts of all and sundry to improve lives and livelihoods.
He thanked the UNDP Global Environment Facility, GEF, for building a partnership with the association in addressing the effects of climate change on the lives of the people.
Kemo Jabbie Gassama of the Governor’s office thanked the association for complementing the government’s efforts in the protection and preservation of forest resources.
He called on the beneficiary communities to be vigilant in the protection of the environment.
The programme coordinator of the AFES in Jokadou Darsilami in the North Bank Region, said the local communities have to be empowered with knowledge of mangroves’ ecology, and their economic and environmental benefits.
Mobilization of people’s participation in replanting, combined with alternative livelihood creation and sustainable forest management, is the answer, he added.
Ba Ansu Fofana, programme coordinator, speaking recently at mangrove planting exercise in Darsilami, Karantaba and Bakang, said this was part of the efforts of the association to promote regeneration and restoration of the mangrove forests, to mitigate disaster prevention in adaptation to climate change.
He said mangrove trees have the ability to grow where no other trees can, thereby making a significant contribution to the environment.
Fofana said sustainable mangrove restoration on a national scale is possible with a comprehensive step-by-step approach.
As a result, the association with support from the UNDP Global Environment Facility is working to intensify mangroves planting in Karantaba, Darsilami and Bakang, which are severely affected.
The mangrove would provide opportunities to generate income, and the people would only be able to fully participate as custodians of this future life-saving process if there is an immediate economic benefit for their daily survival.
Ansumana Manneh, the administrative and finance officer, said the planting exercise aimed tocreate mangrove parks as a tangible national achievement, and as a stepping stone in the national campaign to restore all damaged areas, and bring back the valuable mangrove cover to its former glory.
He said the advantage of engaging local communities is that they would have the overall responsibility in planting, nursing and protecting the new plants, and thereafter manage the forests in a sustainable manner.
It was of great importance to include people’s participation at all levels of mangrove restoration, he continued.
Other speakers thanked the community for their support and solidarity with the association.
The communities’ representatives gave assurance of their full support to the protection of mangroves.
Mamadi Trawally, secretary of the Karantaba VDC and Tida Trawally a TBA acknowledged that planting of mangroves would help the communities to increase incomes through marketing seafood.
They pledged their full support to the restoration of the lost environment to enhance production and productivity.