#Article (Archive)

Forestry Boss Calls for Better Community Participation In Forest Management

Jul 23, 2009, 7:13 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

Mr. Jatto Sillah, the Director of Forestry Department has outlined the importance of forest management, noting that the Gambia though small is blessed with huge natural resources that needed community participation for sustainable management of the forest.

Mr. Sillah made this statement during an interview with our reporter over the weekend, while on tour at the Pirang Forest Park. He went on to commend the community of Bonto and Pirang for their high consideration of their forest parks.

According to him, the Pirang Forest Park has been preserved by the communities of Pirang and Bonto as a cultural forest, which he said, is a step in the right direction. He stated that the forestry department in collaboration with the Pirang and Bonto villages are planning to transform the place into a cultural forest museum in order to attract more tourists.

The importance of the forest, he stated, cannot be over-emphasised as the two communities generate a lot of income from it. He said the management of the forests should be every Gambian's business. He said there are penalties to be imposed on anyone found wanting in illegal activities in the forests.

Mr. Sillah thus called on all Gambians to desist from activities that can result in environmental degradation. He also called for attitudinal change towards the maintenance of our forests.

"We will not compromise with anyone found doing illegal activities in the forests", he concluded.