Monday, June 11, 2012
marking the World Environment Day are in progress. The theme of this year’s
celebration, “Green Environment, does it include you”, is indeed befitting as
it suggests that it is the responsibility of all and sundry to engage in the
protection and preservation of the environment for the common future.
We wish to
join the celebration with a call for people to engage in the planting of trees
particularly at this time that we are entering the wet season. This is
fundamental because this is the most perfect time to nurture the environment.
Every citizen should therefore take it as a moral duty to at least plant one
tree. This would aid in not only protecting our forest cover but also battle
against the desertification that is threatening the country.
We do not
need to remind anybody that The Gambia is a sahelian country; this implies that
the country lies within the sub-tropical savanna belt and prone to
desertification. The encroaching desert would have the better of our land if
adequate attention is not given to the environment. In the face of such threat,
planting and nurturing more trees is the best weapon we have at our disposal to
protect the country.
What even makes this course more
fundamental is that timber trade is becoming a lucrative venture in the
country. Such a trade is greatly undermining our forests as majority of the
trees felled are never replaced. Forests have a huge impact on the environment.
Besides, indiscriminate felling of trees is detrimental to sustainable
species of plants and animals are already extinct. Others are also fading away
due to loss of habitat. There is also the loss of essential medicinal herbs.
Other major impacts include soil erosion, flooding, and desertification.
Furthermore and very importantly, the degradation of the forest results in the
decrease in the amount of rainfall we receive.
Rainfall is the only way of replenishing our natural water resources, and trees determine the rainfall in a particular region. If they no longer exist, drought sets in, bringing with it its own set of problems. In fact, we should pay greater attention to this reality as our country is agriculture-dependent and lies in the Sahel region.
therefore call on all and sundry to plant a tree each for the benefit of
society. We should at all times realise that the Gambia government continues to
provide Gambians with quite a number of alternatives, which, if adhered to,
will lead to our total liberation from poverty to more development.
And development, like the president has always emphasised, cannot be durable if the people for whom it is meant are not part of the initiators and implementers of the projects concerned.Let us thereforeplant trees to save our environment from environmental catastrophe.
Author: Daily Observer