In Guinea, the national reforestation campaign is in full swing in the capital Conakry. An initiative launched by the authorities of the town of Ratoma has resulted in the planting of 5,000 trees to combat desertification in this West African country.
As part of the initiative “A tree planted and protected” in Guinea, the authorities of the capital Conakry have launched a reforestation campaign in the town of Ratoma. The initiative, which resulted in the planting of 5,000 trees, took place in the botanical forest of Kakimbo and around the Demoudoula River, which runs through the neighbourhoods of Bantouka 1, Kaporo-Rails, Nassroulaye and Koloma soloprimo.
The operation was jointly coordinated by M’Mahawa Sylla, the governor of Conakry, and the regional inspector of the environment and sustainable development of the city. “It is good to plant, but protecting is better. I therefore invite each inhabitant to plant a tree and to maintain it afterwards, otherwise it will be an eternal restart,” said Elhadj Zakariaou Bah.
Several local associations participated in this initiative. This is the case of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Mérite International. According to its coordinator Ahmed Sékou Traoré, other hectares of land will soon be reforested in order to contribute to the preservation of Guinea’s floristic potential. This will also “support the Guinean government’s efforts in the fight against global warming and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
The urgency of reforestation
According to the Guinean authorities, the national forest cover has fallen from 14 million hectares in the 1960s to less than 700,000 hectares in 2010. In this West African country, this deforestation is mainly caused by the expansion of cocoa, coffee and palm oil crops. This situation also affects the population, which is confronted with soil erosion and acidification. To remedy the situation, the Guinean government has banned the cutting and transport of wood throughout the country since 14 June 2021.
In addition, reforestation initiatives are underway. On the occasion of World Environment Day, which was celebrated on 5 June 2022, the Guinean government launched an operation to reforest 6,000 hectares of land nationwide by the end of 2022. The initiative, which began in the Botanical Garden of Conakry, will eventually “rejuvenate urban and rural forest sites in a state of advanced degradation”, according to Safiatou Diallo, Secretary General of the Guinean Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.