By: Mama A. Touray
The Gambia Environment Alliance (GEA) on Monday observed World Biodiversity Day raising voices on critical issues affecting the environment.
In a statement shared with this medium read “On World Biodiversity Day, we raise our voices to address a critical issue that demands urgent attention: the need to “Build Back Biodiversity” in our beloved Gambia.”
For far too long, the statement stated, forests have been ravaged by illegal logging, causing immense devastation to the precious ecosystems, and the country has witnessed the gradual disappearance of once-vibrant forests, and yet, restoration efforts to regenerate the lost flora have been sorely lacking and it’s time to reverse this tragic trend.
“But that’s not all. Our marine life is also under threat, as semi-trawlers continue their bycatch fishing activities, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The absence of designated marine protected areas exacerbates this problem, making it imperative for us to act swiftly and responsibly to protect our oceans and the remarkable biodiversity they hold.,” it is noted in the statement.
The GEA Statement stated that they mourn the mass deaths of seabirds due to avian influenza, a heartbreaking consequence of ecological imbalance: “These magnificent creatures, once filling our skies with their grace and beauty, are now being lost at an alarming rate. We must confront this crisis head-on, as it serves as a stark reminder of the urgent action required to preserve our natural heritage.”
GEA however, urged all stakeholders, individuals, communities, and decision-makers alike, to recognize the power hold collectively to make a difference, and to remember that every action, no matter how small, contributes to the greater cause of rebuilding biodiversity.
“Together, we can make a lasting impact by supporting sustainable forest management practices and fighting against illegal logging to safeguard our precious forests. Advocating for the establishment of marine protected areas and sustainable fishing practices to preserve our marine ecosystems and prevent further damage.
Gambia Environment Alliance further urged stakeholders to raise awareness of the importance of avian influenza prevention and the need for effective measures to protect the invaluable seabird population and to engage in habitat restoration initiatives, such as reforestation and habitat creation, to encourage the revival of diverse plant and animal species.
“The time for action is now, for our planet and future generations. Let us unite and stand as stewards of the Earth, committed to preserving the incredible biodiversity that makes The Gambia so unique and precious. Together, we can “Build Back Biodiversity” and pave the way for a sustainable and thriving future,” the statement conveyed to stakeholders.