Gambia bans timber exports to combat trafficking; Greenpeace says illegal and abusive exploitation of forests violates rights of forest-dependent communities, notes Gambia's forests are also home to several protected species and carbon sinks

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DAKAR, Senegal , July 14, 2022 (press release) –

Greenpeace Africa ( congratulates Gambian authorities after their decision ( to ban timber exports to combat illegal logging.

A statement from the Gambian government released on 1st July 2022 declared : “All existing permits issued for the export/re-export of timber are hereby permanently revoked” and adds that “the export and re-export of timber is prohibited” in the country with immediate effect.

“The illegal and abusive exploitation of forests violates the rights of communities, who depend on them for their livelihoods. On top of that, these forests are home to several protected species and carbon sinks for the Gambia. Other African countries should follow Gambia’s good example. We encourage the Gambia authorities to also take the same measures for the management of fisheries resources”, said Dr Aliou Ba, head of the Greenpeace Africa oceans campaign.

“The protection of forests remains a priority because they are a treasure of biodiversity and contribute to the balance and health of our planet. It should also be noted that without forests, the earth would probably be a desert,” adds Irene Wabiwa Betoko, head of the forest campaign at Greenpeace Africa.

This decision echoes the call by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to several states including The Gambia to suspend the trade in rosewood, a protected and particularly endangered species.

The Gambian government has also taken a series of strict measures to protect the forests ( and fight timber trafficking, notably by banning the felling and import of protected species.

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