The tripwas spearheaded by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment Mr. Momodou Mbye Jabang and supported by EBA Project.
During the launching, over 6,000seedlings of various species were planted by the community of Central Badibou and its catchment areas in partnership with 4H The Gambia and staff of Forestry Department.
The exercise was aimed at restoring the degraded sites of the forest park and increasing diversity of species.
Lamin B. Dibba, environment minister said Gambia government has taken bold initiatives to restore degraded sites annually as a response to combat deforestation and land degradation in The Gambia.
He explained that they chose Central Badibou this year because it was the most affected in the country by the last rain disaster on 7th July. He challenged them to not only plant the trees but also ensure its protection and sustainability. He added that the protection of the trees is a collective responsibility of all and sundry.
“The objective of this important initiative is to engage everyone in the Gambia to plant trees during the rainy season as a measure to replace the lost trees in and outside our forests,” he further said.He said in order to mitigate the situation, massive replacements are necessary.
Minister Dibba also said that the degraded forests in the country is due to a combination of factors, including intense and frequent bushfires, illegal felling of trees, change of forests to other land uses, and drought.
He implored the community of central Badibou to embrace the Participatory Forest Management Approach of the Department of Forestry so that more forests are brought under sustainable management.
Director of Forestry Muhammed Jaiteh, said inasmuch as tree planting is welcome, it is important to remind everyone that planting is one thing but another important thing is to care for the planted seedlings to ensure their survival by protecting them against fires, grazing and all other forms of destruction, particularly during the dry season.
Chief of Central Badibou Alagi Jange who doubles as Alkalo of NJaba Kunda commended the Ministry of Environment and its line department for the exercise.
Governor of North Bank Region, Lamin Saidykhan said the initiative is geared toward the maintenance of our lode forest cover and therefore challenged all Gambians to emulate and at least plant a tree.