#Article (Archive)

ENVIRONMENT: The land: Most important natural resources for economic planners

Apr 29, 2016, 10:44 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

The protection, preservation and conservation of one of the most important resources the Land, if not, the most important or one of the most important resources, must be given top priority in the planning of our economies.

To him, this is because the most important and fundamental basic human rights as food, cloth and shelter can only be obtained nowhere else but from the land. Therefore the land must be given priority and put in the forefront of any wise economic planning, according to one Mr Celestine Kujabi alias CeKu, a teacher and social activist in an opinion received by this paper on Wednesday 27April.

He says land is one of the natural resources that must be protected, preserved and reserved for posterity.

It is a common notion to many that economic planning comprises only of statistical updates and records of people, in relation to resources available or profitable monetary activities.

It is right for some but at most, economic planning must comprise ways and means of evenly distributing resources especially land to meet the ever-growing population demand for food, clothes and shelter. This calls for not only the distribution, but also the protection and preservation of land for the same purposes and for generations unborn.

“We used to learn about the potentials of economically rich countries, and it is by their standard we judge each others posterity plans, achievements and successes,” he said.

Those countries that have registered successes in their economies must have vigorously pursued the plans to evenly distribute their natural resources according to their population figures and with reference to well calculated demands of a dynamic and ever-growing population.

This is what good economic planning is all about. It is unfortunate that most developing countries have adopted irrelevant economic theories that never try to meet the growing demands of their rising populations.

The economics we are trained to master is that which gives priority to foreign resources and services that can never be evenly distributed because of the scarcity control imposed on them because of profits and gains.

A drive to economically plan the land may deprive others from getting too much, and much of the population could at least benefit from the land, and resources it has to offer. 

The land is the resource where the important raw materials can be obtained and has the potential of revealing the natural resources by which our country and peoples develop. It is only the land that can offer us such treasures, the most important natural resource we barely consider in our economic planning activities.

Considering the population of our country is in the increase and it is projected to grow to a two and a half (2.5) million in the next ten to twenty years to come and the need for more schools, hospitals, markets, roads, car parks, recreational parks etc have the economic planners consider catering for such population in the future?

Have our economists considered the effects of climate change and its adverse effect to our environment and particularly our land?

Efforts must be made to better plan in order to provide for these eventualities and ensure that there is enough land reserved for the eventualities of land loss by the adverse effects of climate change.

The protection and proper utilization of the land is very important, thus avoid being loss to the agents of erosion and climate change.

Mr Kujabi said the Island city of Banjul is at risk of losing most of its land form due to rising sea levels and is important that the authorities concerned try to map out strategies to mitigate the risks.

Mr Kujabi calls on the authorities of Physical Planning of the Ministry for Lands, Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation and the Gambia Bureau of Statistics to act as quickly as possible to look into the matter and plan better for unseen circumstances.

This is because the country is losing most of its land surface to water, erosion, rising sea levels as a result of climate change.

He calls on all for collective efforts to better manage and protect the land as the primary source of life for all and sundry, and urges the authorities to better come up with policies to better manage, protect and preserve the land to cater better for the growing demand of the population for the next twenty years.

“We must reform our plans, institute and implement new policies that will not only help protect, preserve and conserve our most precious resource the land, but help plan the country’s most important and valuable natural resource,” he added.