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Department of Forestry

Department of Forestry

Forest management in The Gambia is characterized by extensive state involvement which started with the state owned forest park concepts in the 50s. Government ownership of all naturally grown trees became statutory law with the enactment of the forest legislation in 1977 and the FD was entrusted with the overall management responsibility.

Although the FD was entrusted the mandate of forest protection it was unable to accomplish the task due to the tense relationship with the population and also because of lack of human and material resources. In the late 80s when more knowledge and experience was made in natural forest management, it became clear that the government will never be in the position to protect and manage the country’s forest resources without the assistance and support of forest adjacent communities. This was the time when the community forest management concept was developed. Community forestry was finally introduced in 1991.

Both the state and the community forest management model were merged into one concept, called the Gambian Forest Management Concept (GFMC). This concept is actually being implemented in all the regions.  The government fully supports the involvement of local communities and the private sector in the management of the country’s forest resources which is expressed by passing a new forestry policy and legislation in 1996 and 1998, 2010 respectively.

Since budgetary allocations were and are insufficient to implement forestry activities, the FD through the new forest policy succeeded in establishing a National Forest Fund (NFF) in 1996. Although the NFF improves the recurrent cost situation, it does not however cover, at the current level of revenue off-take, the cost for staff training and development investment needed to realise the GFMC, to render adequate extension and forest management support services to the various focus groups, and for research.


To maintain 30 per cent of the total land area of The Gambia under forest covers and manages 75 per cent of the land under forest cover for environmental and socio-economic development.


  • Improvement in the living standards of the citizenry through poverty reduction and forest resource enhancement initiatives;
  • Institutional empowerment for effective decentralized forest resource management
  • Encouragement of coordinated efforts and inflow of assistance into the forestry sub-sector as defined in the National Development Framework.
  • Improvement in Forestry Department’s absorptive capacity and effective management of forest resources


  • The mandate of the Forestry Department includes the following:
  •  Enforcing the Forest Act and Regulations
  •  Promoting natural forest management in accordance to the Gambian Forest Management Concept
  •  Promoting community participation in forest development and management
  •  Promoting the development of plantations
  •  Educating the general public on the values of the forests
  •  Advising Government on forestry matters
  •  Institutionalizing forestry training

Strategic Objectives

  • Expansion of community-based forest ownership and management and the ownership of the benefits derived therefrom;
  • Involvement of Non-governmental organisations in forest management;
  • Public awareness creation about the benefits of forest and the effects of actions detrimental to forest development;
  • Encouragement of private forestry for value added product processing as well as private forest establishment;
  • The establishment of a National Forestry Fund for sustainable funding of forest management activities; and,
  • Development of the full potential of the forest, through, for example, the promotion of eco-tourism and the utilization of non-wood forest products. 

Uesful Links

  USAID Logo 


     Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa



Copy Right @ 2014: Repulic Of The Gambia:Ministry of Environment Climate Change Water&Wildlife