A national forum on minimum tree cover on farms in The Gambia has outlined how trees could help in poverty reduction and climate resilience.
The forum is part of the ecosystem based adoption project objective in helping restore degraded farmlands and community managed forests and other ecosystem.
Speaking on theme; boosting resilience and prosperity through tree-enhancing on farm tree cover in rural Gambia, Environment Minister Lamin Dibba said the 2020 vision is to implement the plans of land degradation, adding that trees prevent natural calamities.
He however revealed plans of putting in place over one billion trees this year, while also assuring that a new forestry policy is on the way to protect the country's forest cover.
"We are doing this for society to change and for that to happen, the people must change. Trees could be used to transform lives of the people if they are well taken care of," the minister said.
Dr. Peter Minang outlined how trees could improve Gambia's economy, stating that if investments are made on mega wires, it would be a huge benefit for the country's economic system.
He said the economic part of trees need to be promoted, saying cashew is a valuable product to the country and can increase the economy at a greater pace.
Dr. Minang said the EbA study covered one hundred households and had shown that most of the food consumed during hunger periods are from wild fruits.
The EbA project is currently being implemented in the Gambia to restore degraded agricultural landscapes which will enable communities to generate direct and indirect benefits for them.
The baseline study for the EBA project has revealed that many communities are interested in tree planning but several constraints hampered the practice. These constraints according to the study include access to the right planting materials, technical knowhow and environmental constraints which largely has to deal with the amount of rainfall.
According to the ecosystem based adoption, addressing such barriers requires a concerted effort by all actors of decision making bodies and entities responsible to craft how tenure conditions could be arranged, how incentives could be provided. Access to proper planting materials could also be beneficial in this case.