Nov 14, 2008, 6:42 AM
The Regional Forestry Officer for Central River Region, Cherno Gaye, has cautioned the people of the region to exercise extra caution to prevent bush fires.
Mr Gaye made this remark recently at his office in Janjangbureh during an interview with The Point.
He opined that the peak seasons for bush fires are from November to December when farmers are busy harvesting and from May to June when the dominant farming activity is clearing.
He also highlighted some of the negative impacts of bush fire, saying it causes low agricultural productivity, exposure of the land, loss of nutrients to the land and other important purposes to human life.
Mr Gaye disclosed that most bush fire incidents occur outside the community forest and forest parks.
The regional forestry officer added that bush fires do not only affect agriculture but also contribute to environmental degradation.
He enthused that some community forests and forest parks are being successfully managed.
To him, forests serve as bank for people who value it, adding that plans are in the offing to ensure resources are conserved for their availability for generations yet unborn.
Gaye stressed that anybody found culpable of destroying the forest would face the full force of the law.
He called on the local communities to be watchdogs and to strengthen their efforts to protect the forest by developing fire prevention strategies such as creating fire belts.
He noted that it is a collective responsibility and that people should take charge of their responsibilities.
He called on the people of the region to utilize the resources in a more sustainable manner, saying that communities should be more pro-active in protecting the forest and its resources.
He stressed the need to protect the forest from indiscriminate illegal activities to preserve and conserve the remaining natural resources.
He urged the people in the region to report any suspect to a nearby police station.