According to a statement from the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change Natural Resources, Minister Rohey John Manjang has revealed the ministry’s plans to ban illegal timber trading in the Gambia and to be backed by strict laws.
She made these remarks during her 6-day nationwide familiarisation tour, which availed her the opportunity to visit various illegal logging timber landing sites in Kasalang, Lower Fulladu District of Central River Region (CRR) South.
The Environment minister explained that the ministry wants to reinforce the government’s decisions on the timber ban, saying it has to be enforced to the maximum.
Minister Manjang further stated that the ministry would engage the border communities.
“The delegation intends to find out how active we are within border villages and timber smugglers involved in illegal activity will be punished. The ministry confirms some illegal timber traders are still active in the business.”
According to the minister, Senegalese authorities have a big role to play, adding her ministry would take the blame for accepting and providing the market for traders. She said her ministry would come up with the decision to close the market through the border entry points and the seaport.
“We finally want to start enforcement nationwide and all the authorities will respond especially the alkalos, the ministry, and the government as a bigger stakeholder. We are going to strategise the ground to make sure everything is normal. If the ground is clear, some timber products will be allowed for local consumption but one has to get certified authorised documents that will allow the selling of timber for local consumption,” she said.