ALGERIA: Kabylia to reclaim its forest cover set ablaze by fire

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ALGERIA: Kabylia to reclaim its forest cover set ablaze by fire ©MohamedHaddad/Shutterstock

Civil society associations and public authorities are committed to restoring the forest cover ravaged by a fire that has experienced the country in 2021. The reforestation operation to be launched on March 18, 2022 aims to plant at least 1,000 trees in Kabylia and Aurès, two regions located east of the capital Algiers.

In Algeria, the resurgence of forest fires is endangering biodiversity and food security of the population. In 2021, for example, 44,000 hectares of forest went up in smoke in this North African country.

In order to green the areas affected by these fires, a reforestation campaign will take place in the Aurès and Kabylia, two northern regions known for their mountains and coastal plains east of the capital Algiers. The campaign will take place with the participation of several civil society organizations, the municipality of Ouzellaguen, the association SOS Environment & Animals and the Directorate of Forests of the wilaya (province) of Bejaia.

The fruit and forest trees (eucalyptus, carob, casuarina) planted in these areas will allow the rehabilitation and redevelopment of plots affected by the fires. Ultimately, Algeria wants to make these areas models of sustainable agriculture and adaptation to climate change. This is reason enough to intensify reforestation initiatives in this North African country.

Strengthen the fight against deforestation

For the circumstance and on the side-lines of the celebration of the International Day of Forests on March 21, the Algerian leader in the production of corrugated cardboard, General Emballage (GE) will support the launch of this reforestation operation at the Col de Tizi-N-Chrea. In this township of Kabylia is one of the peaks of the Djurdjura massif which was devastated by fire, causing dozens of deaths and burning thousands of hectares of forests and orchards. “The objective is to generate a recreational forest. Just over 1,000 maple and cedar seedlings will be transplanted. A wire fence will be erected to accompany the growth of the shrubs and to protect them from possible pastoral assaults,” says the GE company.

Read also-ALGERIA: 43 million trees, for final phase of national reforestation plan

For its part, the Aurès region, which lost in August 2021 nearly 10,000 hectares of forest, is already at the forefront of the restoration of its vegetation cover and the fight against soil erosion. In the town of Khenchela, 520 km east of Algiers, a reforestation program is already financed by the National Rural Development Fund (FNDR) with the aim of planting 1 million trees over the next two years.

   Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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