By Madiba Singhateh
The Marketing and Analysis Development (MA&D) Officer at the Department of Forestry has disclosed that in three years’ time, the state will hand over forest lands to those communities that are managing them.
Hatab Camara the MA&D officer said over four to five hundred communities are currently managing their forest cover by their own. Camara said this in an interview with this reporter at his office on Monday November 25th in anticipation of the forthcoming forestry trade fair to be held on 10th and 11th of December 2019, at the Youth Monument at Westfield.
According to Camara, the trade fair will assist forest managers and the community to realize maximum benefit from their forestry resources.
‘‘The forestry marketing analysis and development office has come in to assist forest users identify small and media enterprises that can improve their livelihood and at the same time assist them to manage their forest covers effectively,” he said; that the MA&D office empowers local communities with the technical skills and resources to achieve a regular income which is vital in addressing many of the problems afflicting developing countries; that it also provides the crucial structures necessary to achieve this through sustainable forest management and the judicious utilization of forest resources.
“Poverty alleviation is addressed by identifying potential forest products and then developing corresponding markets for them,” he said; that this will increases individual and community revenue while at the same time encouraging the active protection of forest resources through participatory forest management. Camara said the MA&D office promotes the collaboration between forest service and local communities.
“Thirteen out of 26 villages currently participating in MA&D related activities have applied to extend their Community forests,” he said.
If readers can recall, the concept of Forestry was first elaborated in 1989 and community forests were established in 1990