Gambia: Environment Minister - Our Target Is to Plant Over 1 Million Trees in 2020

25 February 2020

Gambia's minister of environment, climate change and natural resources said it is his ministry's target to plant over one million trees in 2020, aimed at contributing to restoration of the lost value of land production and minimise the effects of climate change.

Lamin Dibba expressed the need for a greener environment in The Gambia by increasing the forest and plant covers in all the regions particularly in the urban settlements.

Global reports indicate that it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warning since the mid-20th century.

Addressing a two-day forum on national policy discourse on minimum tree cover on farms in The Gambia, Minister Dibba revealed that the main purpose of the ecosystem based adaptation project in The Gambia is to increase tree cover in over 12,000 hectares of degraded community managed forests, protect areas, and agricultural landscapes to help communities to generate direct and indirect benefits from them.

"Over the past two years, the Ecosystem Based Adaptation project (EbA) invested millions of dalasis to create the necessary tree nursery infrastructure to raise the millions of seedlings that would be needed for the restoration," he said.

Minister Dibba however implored on all Gambians to work diligently towards attaining the purpose and finding a common ground where agriculture could continue to meet the food 'we need' while trees continue to provide the ameliorating microclimatic benefits, soil fertility as well as financial returns.

He also stressed the need for a new forestry policy, which he said would help protect the forest in the country.

Presenting on the potential initiatives to increase tree cover for the Gambia, Dr. Lalisa Duguma, scientist from Sustainable Landscapes and Climate Change (ICRAF) said an equivalent of 46,948 hectares of trees could be grown in the Gambia with 42 trees per household every year.

He said there is a great potential in initiating the increase of tree cover for the Gambia, adding that trees are exiting borders, which no one can dispute and thereby prevent border conflicts.

According to him, trees play a very essential role in promoting environmental sustainability and climate resilience, observing that growing trees for a greener sustainable and healthier environment is necessary.

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