The Gambia Environmental Alliance (GEA) on Wednesday raised an eyebrow at the alleged illegal logging of trees in Kaiaf.
In a shared statement with this medium on Wednesday, June 7 2023 Gambia Environmental Alliance stated in it that the community forest of Kaiaf has fallen victim to a catastrophic event which they described as devastating and illegal destruction of both mature and young forest trees for the production of charcoal and firewood. The people of Kabada are alleged of this act.
On Friday, the West African nation of The Gambia banned timber exports and permanently revoked all timber export licenses with immediate effect.
The ban targets timber of the highly prized African Rosewood tree, which is native in West and Central Africa. It has been nearly extinct since 2011.
Following the ban, the government instructed port authorities to refuse loading of timber logs onto any vessel. In addition, random searches of containers should be heightened.
When current president Adama Barrow came into power in January 2017, one of his top priorities was to stamp out illegal logging of rosewood timber. However, he stopped short of a full export ban at the time.
Banjul, The Gambia — With the endorsement of Cabinet chaired by His Excellency President Adama Barrow on Thursday and in line with Section 113 of the Forest Act, 2018, the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources (MECNARR) wishes to inform the public of these new regulations effective immediately:
- All existing permits issued for the export/re-export of timber are permanently revoked;
- The export/re-export of timber is banned;
- The felling and/or import of Pterocarpuserinaceus locally known as KENO is banned;
- The felling of Cordyla Africana, locally known as Wulakonoduto, Dimba or wild mango is banned
- All timber cleared for import by the Department of Forestry, must have complete and duly certified import documentation including bills of laden showing proof of transport, as well as Customs entries for every border it crossed before entering The Gambia, to avoid its forfeiture to the State upon arrival;
- Timber for domestic use could be transported within The Gambia provided the carriers have authentic permits for household use duly issued by the Department of Forestry.
This post written by Foday Manneh first appeared in The Alkamaba Times on June 13, 2022. This edited version is being republished on Global Voices under a content partnership agreement.
On May 6, a large number of trees harvested for timber were found felled in Kundam, a village in the Tumana District in The Gambia’s Upper River Region (URR). In this community forest reserve, it is illegal to fell trees without a license.
Gambia and Senegal have started a joint initiatives to combat illegal timber trade in Casamance, Senegal’s troubled south that has been dealing with rebellion since in the 1980s. The Gambian leader Adama Barrow told journalists on Tuesday that he and his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall are doing everything to combat illegal logging.
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