By Mustapha Jallow
The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources has as part of yearly routine, embarked on tree planting exercise where over 6,000 seedlings of various species were planted at Dobbo Forestry Park in Central Badibou, North Bank Region (NBR).
The exercise was carried out during the launching of the national tree planting exercise day held on 18th August 2021. The exercise was organised by the environment ministry with support from Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) project.
The seedlings of various species were planted by the community of Central Badibou and its catchment area in partnership with the 4H the Gambia and the staff of forestry department. The initiative’s objective was to engage Gambians on planting trees during the rainy season as a measure of replacing the lost trees in and outside the country’s forests.
Lamin B. Dibba, the environment minister, said they have taken bold initiatives to restore degraded sites annually as a response to combat deforestation and land degradation in the country.
“We decided to choose Central Badibou this year because it was the most affected region during the last rain disaster on 7th July. Therefore, I challenged you (community members) to not only plant trees, but also ensure its protection and sustainability. The protection of these trees is a collective responsibility of all and sundry,” he said.
Dibba further said the degraded forests in the country is caused by a combination of factors, including intense and frequent bushfires, illegal felling of trees, change of forests to land uses and drought.
For his part, Director of Forestry, Muhammed Jaiteh, welcomed the idea of tree planting, while urging community members to engage in planting trees and protect them from bushfire, particularly during the dry season.
Governor of NBR, Lamin Saidykhan, said the initiative is geared towards the maintenance of our lode forest cover and therefore challenged all Gambians to emulate the initiative and at least plant a tree.