Sep 21, 2010, 2:09 PM
Efforts are being intensified across the country among various sectors of the society to plant more trees to regain the country’s lost forest cover.
The latest to join the national campaign was Standard Charted Bank (SCB), who at the weekend collaborated with the Department of Forestry and local authorities in the Kanifing Municipality to plant 1000 casuarinas and 800 eucalyptus seedlings.
The seedlings were planted along the main highway from SCB branch at Traffic Light at Fajara to the Social Security and Finance Cooperation building in Bakau next to the Independence Stadium.
Speaking at the exercise, Ousman Njie, head of the SCB environment team, thanked the Forestry Department for the collaboration.
According to him, the efforts are meant to foster green environment, adding that the gesture was in line with the bank’s environment policy.
SCB believes in building a sustainable business, the environment and climate change, which are important and placed centre stage in the life of the bank, he said.
Since 2010 the bank has been involving in numerous environmental activities, he noted, saying their presence and involvement in the exercise symbolizes the very essence of what the bank stands for in showing commitment to the communities in which their staff live and work.
“We continually look at ways to minimize our direct impact on the environment, whilst setting stringent targets for reducing our consumption of energy, air travel, water, plastic bags usage and paper,” he said.
He further stated that from 2010 to date, the bank has been complementing The Gambia Government’s efforts at restoring and preserving the forest by planting a current total of 63,000 trees in the country.
“This is to fulfill our aim to be a force-for-good and to make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of the global natural environment,” he said.
According to Mr Njie, as an international bank, operating in the country, SCB recognizes that they have a key role to play in ensuring the environment is protected.
For his part, the mayor of KMC, Yankuba Colley, hailed the bank for their high sense of commitment to the restoration of the nation’s forest.
He stressed that making the environment green should not be left to the Department of Forestry; it should be everybody’s business.
He applauded SCB for the partnership, while encouraging other financial institutions in the country to also do their bit in conserving the environment.
For his part, Hatab Camara from the Forestry Department thanked the bank for their support and partnership towards the conservation of the environment.
Meanwhile, speaking to The Point during the exercise, SCB’s Chief Executive Officer Humphrey Mukwereza highlighted the importance of the exercise.
The bank deems it very fitting to contribute its quota to nation building such as embarking on tree planting, he said.
He also thanked his staff for their participation in the exercise, while encouraging them to keep the spirit of volunteerism.