Sunday, January 01, 2023

Re-planting trees

BBC: "Senegal man on a mission to plant five million trees" "The 48-year-old was shocked that in villages that were populated with hundreds of gigantic trees in his youth, only a handful, if any, now remained. "In some villages, you can't find one tree. They cut them but they don't think about planting again," he told the BBC." ... "in this area, along the sweeping expanse of the Casamance River, the trees are more likely to have been cut down for construction purposes like building houses, or to make charcoal."

It's a noble project. But can it be sustained? Why were so many trees taken down in the first place?

I followed a hunch--this popped up as one of the first sites: "To date, Casamance has lost over 10 000 hectares of its forests to illegal logging, representing an estimated 1 million trees. ... This includes rosewood, which is particularly high in demand in China."

An extensive network of actors has been cashing in on large-scale illegal logging and timber trafficking in the region. These include armed groups, Senegalese and Gambian businessmen, foreign actors (particularly from India and China) and also the local population

Diémé's project: "Up to 12 kinds are being planted, from palms and tamarinds to kapoks and lemon trees" seems to focus on fruit or nut-bearing trees, whose wood is probably less in demand in China, and useful enough locally for there to be some resistance to cutting them down.

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