By Issatou Jawara
Communication Officer, ECCNR
The Minister of Environment Climate Change and Natural Resources Hon Rohey John Manjang, has stated, the Publications by The Voice Newspaper following allegations that The President of the Republic of the Gambia and three other senior government officials are involved and responsible for Illegal Timber Exportation from the Gambia.
In an interview with here Communication Officer, at ECCNR made available to The Voice on Sunday, she said that “such allegations are false and are distractions by misinforming the general public about the going initiative by His Excellency Adama Barrow to officially Ban the Timber Re-Export immediately by engaging the Minister of Environment Hon Rohey John Manjang.”
According to the Minister, The Ministry of Environment has the mandate to impose and lift banned timber re-export trade and issue licenses for exportation which is restricted to a few businesses, but the ministry is aware of the illegal smuggling of timber woods and strict laws are enforced to control the smuggling among border communities.
The Minister explained that The National Forestry Fund is the source of revenue under the Department of Forestry mandated to collect revenue through natural resources forestry products and tax generated from community forest management e.g. charcoal timber and firewood and another source of income through forest products.
The Minister assured us that full enforcement on banning the Illegal Timber Re-export Trade is an important national assignment and we urged all relevant stakeholders within the Natural Resources sector to support us and we urged the General Public to support the Ministry to achieve this important task.
The Ministry will also engage Regional District Authorities and Governors to ensure full enforcement with security officials on this regional criminal trade.
The President of the Republic of the Gambia gave full assurance and support to ban this illegal trading which is affecting the Gambia’s political instability with the neighboring countries. The Ministry will continue this process with the support of the National Timber Taskforce to achieve this important national task results