Within the framework of its donation campaign, Naturefriends International supports – with the help of Naturefriends from northern Germany – a project of Friends of Nature – The Gambia (FoNG) that has been officially started during a journey to Senegal and Gambia organised by Naturefriends Bremen (30. January - 13. February 2015).
The project aims to increase the population of indigenous, endangered trees by planting them in villages and schoolyards in the West Coast region, and by that contribute to the protection of biodiversity. 25,000 seedlings and young trees will be provided to four villages. The communities and their schools enter into a partnership with the Naturefriends in which they are trained in the manifold use of the trees: medicinal use, wood fuel, food for grazing animals and pets. Aspects like soil protection and improvement, carbon sequestration, erosion protection and the production of bio fertilizer are also covered. A major priority is a continuous monitoring and follow-up supervised by Naturefriends Gambia.
The donations for the project were handed over at a ceremony in the presence of a representative of the Tourism Board of the Gambia. NFI was represented by its honorary president Herbert Brückner and Vice presidents Petra Müller and Mamadou Mbodji. Numerous representatives of the communities and schools involved and members from Naturefriends Gambia took part in the ceremony.
The project trip of the Naturefriends from northern Germany was in Gambia accompanied by an environmental journalist (2 articles available as PDF: 1; 2 ).
The Naturefriends House in Petit Mbao – the starting point for journeys to Senegal and Gambia
Another focus of the journey was the jubilee of the Naturefriends house in Petit Mbao (Maison Alioune Diagne Mbor) that was officially inaugurated eleven years ago. The house is a perfect starting point and base for journeys in Senegal and Gambia, not only for Naturefriends groups but for all organisations that are interested in sustainable tourism and ecologically sound travelling. The house offers 8 rooms in 4 bungalows and more rooms in the main building that also accommodates the environmental education work of Senegalese Naturefriends. Additionally, the house is perfectly suitable to host seminars and workshops.
Ingeborg Pint, March 2015
Photos: Rainer Kulla, Norbert Schmacke