Monday, December 4

Activist Makes Case for Monkeys

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By: NyimaSillah

The U.S-based Gambian Environmental Expert and Activist, Omar Malmo Sambou, has said the Barrow regime would be remembered for callously destroying the last primate populations in urban Gambia.

“Lack of awareness of our environmental laws, and the importance of urban greens led to the cutting of healthy trees along KMC. Urban greening helps prevent urban heat islands, biodiversity conservation, a healthy living and beautifies our environments,” Mr. Sambou asserted following the cutting down of trees in the urban areas.

According to him, the Gambia will face harsh impacts of climate change through hydro meteorological disasters, adding the country’s vulnerabilities will increase as its people continue to destroy nature, and build infrastructure that is not considerate to climate change.

Sambou explained that the nature of the interaction between man and his environment is often influenced by the level of education, spiritual and cultural linkages, and connections, emphasizing that people with little understanding of the interconnectedness of nature and the importance of forest ecologies, including wildlife, tend to think that everything wild must die.

“The monkeys suffer starvation as the number of visitors diminishes drastically over the years, who often feed the monkeys with nuts and fruits. Edge effect is the major cause of distress in the ecosystem,” he contended.  

However, Sambou pointed out that the park management has no feeding program for the animals, and the best part of the park for feeding was destroyed to establish the OIC conference center, stressing that the construction of the conference center has caused significant distress in the park.

“It has reduced the available land area for the monkeys, bulldozed most fruit trees, and cleared over 7 hectares of vegetation. It has reduced food availability in the park and consequently led to increased competition among troops for food, shelter, and water. To further destroy the park will only exacerbate negative human-wildlife interaction, irreversible biodiversity loss, and loss of livelihoods within the ecotourism sector.”

Meanwhile, the environmentalist described the hippo killing incident as a wildlife crime, and a barbaric act of wildlife cruelty that must be condemned by all concerned citizens.

“The presidency must be advised to desist from being complicit in wildlife crime. Instead, be a champion of environmental conservation. This act can compromise our conservation efforts and lead to biodiversity loss of endangered species,” he opined.

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