21 August 2014

Gambia: Actions Required to Arrest Illegal Logging

editorial

The essence of trees towards making this planet a safe and better place fit for human survival has been hinted over and over in this paper and numerous other publications at both local and international level, especially those dealing with environment and conservation, protection and development. The use and importance of trees especially our forest cover cannot be over-emphasised. Despite the series of articles and features published on this phenomenon people continue to indulge in it.

It is scientifically established that trees and the forest cover serve as the main source of the oxygen we breathe to sustain our lives on this planet. In addition they are the source of rain to cultivate crops, plants, flowers among others for various reasons including and most importantly for attaining security.

Above all, trees and the forest cover in no small measure serve as wind breakers; protect and prevent soil erosion. The activity is quite unacceptable and needs to be arrested with all immediacy. Conservation and protection of the coastal area and our environments should be a concern to all. The Department of Forestry and other stakeholders should endeavour to bring the situation under control through relevant and effective projects or policies governing the protection and promotion of our environment.

The department has rules and regulations governing the felling of trees in the forest and those within our environment. Those regulations and policies need to be more stringent. We cannot afford to be victims of few criminals who hanker for their selfish interests at the expense of others; those responsible must be punished for their illegal engagements in order to deter other offenders.

Illegal felling of trees is a crime as provided in the Forestry Act as well as other treaties and conventions with regards to the protection and conservation of the forest cover and environment.

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