Monday, June 13, 2011
Gambia Commemorate World Environment Day in Style
NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The government and people of The Gambia, with a march past from West Field to NEA office on June 6, 2011, marked World Environmental Day spearheaded by the National Environmental Agency (NEA) under the theme “Forest: Nature at Your Service”.
On the day of the celebrations, Mr Abdoulie Sanneh, director of Forestry Department says that “Every society and economy needs a healthy forest cover,”. “This is because the society depends on the forest for its day-to-day needs.”attributed “a healthy economy to a healthy forest cover”.
Thus, pin-pointed that the Gambia’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture, and hence, the importance of a healthy forest cover cannot be over emphasized.
He lectured: "the forest induces rainfall, prevents the rapid run-off of water and reducing environmental degradation, which may affect farm harvest and as well derailed the objective of attaining food self-sufficiency".
According to Director Sanyang, forest does not only provide oxygen for humans but also serve as carbon sink, and to a certain degree stabilizing the challenges of global warming, he went on to stated that to address the issue of the environment, great emphasis should be put on the forest for future use.
Sanyang also suggested that a massive annual tree planting exercise should be conducted country wide so as to safeguarding the existing forest cover as the country is losing its forest cover.
Momodou B. Sarr , executive director, National Environment Agency, said the day- World Environment Day, was first spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Programme, which began in 1972 and has grown to become the main vehicle through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
He reechoed that this year’s world environment day celebrations comes at a time when the United Nations declared the "International Year of the Forest," saying that the year's declarations focused on highlighting the critical links between forests and the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient green economy, NEA director said.
He adds: " a healthy and well manage forest is very essential to the survival of societies and it’s a home to millions of species of plants, animals and insects."
He further stated that the Forest covers 31 percent of the total land area and at the same time supporting 80 percent of terrestrial biodiversity that human beings and animals live on them adding that many of the world’s most threatened and endangered animals live in the forests, making them crucial to sustaining ecosystems,” he lectured.
He continued that “Forests provide many important natural resources, such as food, timber, fuel, rubber, paper and medicinal plants and also protect soils, watershed and regulating water for many of the world’s rivers.”
Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), executive director NEA said is an endeavour to create an incentive for developing countries with forests to protect, better manage and wisely used forest resources, and contributing to the global fight against climate change.
In the longer-term, while summing his speech, he said large payments from abroad for verified greenhouse emissions reduction and removal through the UN REDD Programme, would provide a large source of revenues, and an incentive for REDD+ countries to further invest in low-carbon development and a healthier and greener future, he concluded.