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Protecting our forest cover

Aug 31, 2015, 10:18 AM

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Wildlife (MoECCWW) has taken a firm stance to suspend the issuing of permits for felling trees across the country, with immediate effect, “unless in exceptional cases”.

It has also issued a stern warning to all those involved in the chain of actors, as facilitators, and enablers of illegal logging and transportation, to do desist from illegal logging in the country.

Illegal logging as an act deserves to be condemned and completely discouraged in the land, as it causes great harm to the country’s forest cover and the environment, as well as the economy.

It is also an act of unscrupulousness and sheer corruption, especially considering those suspected to be taken part or serving as accomplice in the chain deal.

“…our information indicates that while engaging in illegal logging in The Gambia, these dealers go to the extent of forging and /or using documents purportedly obtained from outside The Gambia for the transportation of those logs/timbers within the country under the pretext that they are imported logs and timber. This act we believe involves a chain of actors and accomplices more than just the typical wood dealers,” a press release by the environment ministry has stated.

Practices like this should not be given a foothold in any country as it is a threat to life and human existence.

Our forest cover and, by extension, the environment must be preserved and protected. Our existence largely depends on how healthy our environment is. Therefore, our forest cover must be preserved and protected to ensure we live a healthy life.

The impacts of climate change as a result of man’s activity is today being felt the world over: the ozone depletion, the greenhouse gases, etc, etc. are some of the harmful effects of climate change in the world. So we must not condone or give a blind eye to practices that would contribute further to the effect of climate change.

The illegal or indiscriminate logging noted to have been ongoing in the country also has posed serious threat to the economy, since the tactic employed in the deal would make the products (logs/ timber) look like imported stuff from other countries thereby making it impossible for the country to derive much income from its forest product.

This illegal practice, therefore, must be forestalled and tackled squarely to save our forest cover and economy, and generally our lives.

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir