Nov 7, 2008, 5:45 AM
officers of the Gambia Police Force on Wednesday underwent a capacity building
training course on environmental legislations and policies meant for tougher
enforcement of the statutes.
The daylong training activity was organized by the National Environment Agency (NEA) at its headquarters in Kanifing.
Speaking on the occasion, NEA Executive Director Ndey Sireng Bakurin said the environmental rules and standards were set to help maintain thresholds that are recognised the world over.
“Your roles in maintaining these rules are paramount and unavoidable,” Mrs Bakurin said.
However, she noted that the training course marked “a quantum leap forward” in the enforcement of the rules that are meant to invoke sanity in the efforts to build an environmentally-conscious community in The Gambia.
“Today, the NEA is a proud institution for the fact that the collaboration with the police is geared to mark a new turning point in putting to use the rules and regulations that were honourably enacted to help us live a sustainable lifestyle as required by evolution.”
The training course is expected to avail the senior police officers details of the laws and regulations, as well as guidelines to protect the environment.
“We believe this training will set the benchmark that all can take reference from in the enforcement of environmental laws,” Mrs Bakurin continued.
“Sustaining this kind of partnership over a long period requires dedication, and I commend the security services for their efforts and commitment to work with us for the benefit of our health and environment.”
The NEA official said dialogue and engagement with the security services is crucial in helping the agency to fulfill its mandate effectively.
She added that protection of the environment and good environmental management can only be attained by compliance with environmental laws.
“Even the police alone could not do this without public participation,” she continued.
Mrs Bakurin said the NEA and the judiciary continue to work together on the special environmental courts initiated for a speedy prosecution of environmental offenders.
She further stated that the future strategy to promote effective enforcement of environmental law in The Gambia may involve strengthening the institutional capacity to manage and enforce environmental laws, improving the legal and regulatory environmental framework and increasing public awareness and participation.