Held at NaNA, the forum sought to ensure better enforcement of legislations from arrest to prosecution of environmental offenders and how they can effectively collaborate for the enforcement process of these statutory obligations in a bid to protect the country’s fauna and flora.
The training, which is the first phase, attracted 20 senior officers from Banjul City Council, Kanifing Municipal Council and the West Coast Region.
Also, senior police officers from the respective regions would be divided into groups for each session over a four-month period.
At the opening ceremony, Dr. Dawda Badgie, deputy Executive Director of National Environment Agency said NEA has a set of laws and regulations, which he said, seeks to defend actions made against the environment whose effects may seriously affect environmental quality and eventually affect the lives of people.
“Something unique about these sets of laws and regulations is enforcement, to ensure that the society abides by its provisions to mitigate the harm done to the environment, therefore the needs for the enforcement of the laws are of paramount and the powers to do that effectively are vested in the police herein The Gambia Police Force.” he posited.
The police, he observed, are mainly responsible for the prosecution of such crimes on behalf of the states.
This, he believed would significantly enhance case management and the involvement of the police with effective enforcement.
“We do understand that GPF workforce is wide as a result of which we cannot train all members of the force, but we will want to give it a try.” he added.
He indicated that NEA being the principal custodian of environmental management and the implementer of the environmental laws and legislations, cannot be at all places to effectively enforce these laws and regulations.