11 February 2013

Gambia: Komffora Holds Consultative Forum

The Kombo Foni Forestry Association (KOMFFORA) as part of its drive to protect the environment and the forest cover recently held its second consultative meeting with stakeholders of community forest at Sibanor Chid Fund office, aimed at sensitising the communities on Mangrove Rehabilitation Programme.

Formally declaring the meeting opened, Alhagie Manjang, Director of World Wide Fund (WWF), who noted the significance of the event, said it would avail the participants the opportunity to work in partnership with KOMFFORA.

While stating that WWF as a partner will always endeavour to work in partnership with KOMFFORA to promote the development and protection of the forest cover, among other things, Manjang said, protecting the environment means protecting the communities.

He tasked the communities to utilise the knowledge gained from the meeting, as well as disseminate the information to their respective communities.

Chief Alfusainey Jarju of Foni Bintang Karanai district told participants to continue to protect their forests. He further emphasised that in the absence of proper forest management, there would be no meaningful development. As he puts it, the environment needs to be protected from any form of harms.

Seku Janko, KOMFFORA's project coordinator, in a brief speech, said the group has been immensely contributing to the sound development of the environment. As a result, he said, the association has been nominated by the UN Global Environment Facility (GEF), to embark on a rehabilitation of mangrove forest in the West Coast Region (WCR).

The rehabilitation of the Mangrove Forest in the West Coast Region was designed by KOMFFORA to halt and reverse the rapid deforestation of the mangroves forests in the region, he said.

" Over the past 30 years, the mangrove forests in the coastal regions of The Gambia have experienced a rapid deforestation as a result of climate change, the activities of timber industry and oyster harvesting damaging the biodiversity without prior consideration for the future generation," he lamented.

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