The Minister of Environment Climate Change and Natural Resources Hon Rohey John Manjang recently embark on a familiarization tour of departments and agencies under the Ministry of Environment. The Minister was accompanied by senior staff of the Ministry including the Head of Depts.

The Familiarization tour will enable the Minister to interact with various staff under the Ministry to understand the role and function of the depts and agencies. As part of the familiarization tour. The Ministry will develop a roadmap which will identify programmes, plans and challenges for the way forward to effectively implement programmes and policies.

The Minister visited the National Environment Agency which is a technical unit under the Ministry.NEA is a technical unit that regulates and implements environmental laws and policies. The Agency protects the public from the harmful effects of pollution.

NEA also has the mandate to implement policies related to environmental impact issues for the protection and management of environmental resources conservation.

The Dept of Forestry is technically responsible for forest management. The delegation was received by the Director of Forestry Mr Momodou Lamin Jaiteh. Speaking to the delegates the director gave a brief overview of the dept the forestry. The dept has four units, Participatory Forestry Management is responsible for community forest management, and joint and private parks. The technical unit.

The Director emphasises the importance of forest management which requires community engagement and constant training of technical staff. The dept offers local training at the Kafuta Training School for newly recruited students which most of our staff were previous students.

The Dept also offers community enterprise livelihood Skills through the M&D unit that trains local communities on forest enterprise products. We also have communities involved in Eco-Tourism in which structures are on the ground.

The Minister also visited the Dept of Parks and Wildlife. The Department of Parks and Wildlife is being mandated to manage our flora and fauna to ensure that they are protected, we also have the Biodiversity Act 2003 that talks about the preservation of our flora and fauna but we also have some other regulations that go with the act to implement it. The main purpose of the Department of Parks and Wildlife is to preserve the protected areas. The animals and ecology are protected from being overexploited.

The Director of Parks and Wildlife Mr Momodou Gassama, speaking to the delegates about the protected areas under the department said the protected areas are under constant threat due to current development and the rapid increase of the human population.

He said, Several wildlife species are disappearing rapidly it's the responsibility of the government to protect endangered species. The dept of Parks and Wildlife has established countrywide protection areas including conservation reserves covering important habitats and animals.

Isatou Jawara

Information Officer