Illegal felling of trees is drastically declining -Principal forestry officer
Monday, August 31, 2009
The principal forestry officer of Brikama, Western Region, Abdoulie Sanneh, has said that the illegal felling of trees is drastically declining in his region, noting that this development came as a result of the introduction of the Forestry Policy Act and Regulation, which has been used in the region to sensitise the people.
He made this statement recently in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer at his office in Brikama, Western Region. According to him, the Forestry department has been using the policy tool in two ways; these are: anyone found illegally felling trees would be taken to court; the other tool, he said, is used for sensitising people in the community on the effects of deforestation on the environment.
Sanneh highlighted the need for participation of the community in ensuring sustainable forest cover, adding that in any society, there must be some unscruplus individuals who will always like to infringe laws. In this case, he noted, the Forestry department will not tolerate any intruder who tries to destroy the forest. Sanneh also alleged that it is mostly non-Gambians who involve in the illegal activity. An example, he said, is Gunjur forest, where most of the rhun-palms are damaged.
He went on to challenge the local government authorities to make proper screening before issuing relevant documents to foreigners, noting that issuing documents to the wrong people would only put our forest to the risk of destruction. He then advised the local government authorities especially the Alkalolus to know the people whom they issue documents like attestations. The regional forestry officer also urged every individual in the country to atleast plant a tree, adding that trees and people live in symboitical order. "No timber association has participated in tree planting exercise this year in Western Region," he conluded.
Author: by Mam Ndegene Secka