By Mustapha Jarju
Kemo Fatty, the Country Director of Civic an International Organization, and also the Chief Executive Officer of the Green Up Gambia, an environmental organization, has urged the government of The Gambia to re-declare the Banjul Environmental Declaration and constitute back everything it entails.
Fatty`s statement came after forty-five (45) years after the launch of the Banjul Environmental Declaration which many Gambians were advocating for many years. The purpose of the launch of the declaration is yet to be met as people continue to neglect the content of the Declaration, in protecting the flora and fauna.
He recalled that the Banjul Declaration, a statement made in the first republic by former president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara in 1977 aimed at calling on people to take quick action for the need to protect the Gambia`s natural environmental flora and fauna which was vanishing at the time.
In an exclusive interview with The Voice, Kemo Fatty said the declaration was not only focused on the loss of the flora and the fauna, rather its declaration was for the people to be mindful of the environment and put forward more efforts into restoring the land.
“People were clearing most of the wild forests in the 60s coming to 70s, which is causing a lot of environmental damages which was diminishing the country’s flora and the fauna,” he said.
He further highlighted that, instead of people promoting the agenda, they started destroying it all, “so you would understand that from 1977 to date, we have continued cutting down trees and we continue to lose the flora and fauna as well as most of the wildlife that was here are no longer here due to people’s activity on the environment, he said.
Ousainou Colley commonly known as “Ousainou Gambia” an environmental activist and the program officer of Green Up Gambia advanced that it may be difficult for people to respect the declaration when the government leaning behind. The “government needs to plant more trees and invest more in restoring the forest”, he said.
Colley called on the government to put in place laws that would help in implementing the aims of the Banjul Environmental Declaration by making sure, the cutting of trees, logging, and shipping of timber logs from the Gambian is put to end.
He added that with these laws in place, the government will have a role to play in restoring the forests and make sure they invest more time, resources, and energy to ensure they motivate people into tree planting to regain our forest.