#National News

Environment Ministry hands over forest parks to rural communities

Jul 21, 2020, 10:54 AM

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources has recently conducted a nationwide consultation and handing over of forest parks to various communities in rural Gambia.

The forest parks are under the Eco System Based Adaptation Project (EBA) intervention were seedlings and construction of regional forestry intervention sites are underway.

The EBA Project is under the ministry of environment climate change and natural resources. It aims to build the climate resilience of rural communities and facilitate the development of sustainable natural resource-based green economy that resonates with the priorities of the National Development Plan (NDP).

The community forest parks that received the second priorities and final documents to gain ownership are Katamina in CRR’s Niamina West district, Sambang Wolof in Upper Fulladu and Jambang Wally and Sabatch and Noo Kunda villages in the North Bank Region,.

Environment Minister, Lamin Dibba urged the communities to abide by the rules and regulations to gain community ownership of the forest parks. "The communities should protect the forest from bush fires and deforestation."

According to him, the government has realized that community forest management is key and can address deforestation and forest degradation which are increasing leading to concerns about loss of the eco system such as biodiversity conservation, water and food insecurity.
He urged the communities to continue their anti-bush fire campaigns, saying people have to plant tree when they cut down one.

Minister Dibba also called on community forest to continue engaging youths to benefit from forest products such as beekeeping and forest enterprise management.

"Forest management plan should be maintained by community forest. So let's protect the forest to enhance our livelihoods."

Lamin Dampha, governor of North Bank Region said protection of community forest parks is key to the development of the region, saying various communities across the region are aware of the consequences of deforestation.

"Empowering communities to protect the environment and management of forest parks is important to enhanced food security."

Sheriff Abba Sanyang governor of the Central River Region indicated that reforestation and providing seedlings to farmers as well as planting trees to maintain the eco system, would significantly enhance food security.

By Isatou Jawara

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