Volunteers congregate before a planting in Guinea.

Volunteers congregate before a planting in Guinea. Credit: ONG AGEDD

About the Sustainable Environmental Management in Sangarédi ReLeaf Project:

Alcoa Foundation, American Forests and Association Guinéenne d’Eveil au Développement Durable are planting 12,000 trees in villages around Sangarédi, Guinea.

ReLeaf Location:

Sangarédi, Guinea, and surrounding villages

Key ReLeaf Activities:

  • Planting 12,000 trees on 70 acres.
  • Training 3,000 volunteers in environmental education and tree maintenance.
  • Improving air and water quality by restoring riparian areas.

Why This ReLeaf Project?

A combination of mining, slash and burn agriculture and animal husbandry have degraded the forest ecosystems around Sangarédi. This project is restoring the area’s forests, while also improving livelihoods for the area’s inhabitants.

Five different tree species are being planted, but all share a commonality: They are known locally and are “useful” trees, meaning they’re edible, medicinal and timber sources or serve other practical purposes. Focused on training the inhabitants of seven local villages in agroforestry, the project is creating a green economy in the area, while also improving water and air quality.

Why Agroforestry?

In many areas of the world, forests are more than just wildlife habitat or recreation sites. Many communities and families rely on local forests for the food they eat, the wood they use to keep their houses warm and the products they sell to support themselves. Without proper education, though, these life-giving forests are often degraded faster than natural restoration can occur, leaving the surrounding areas with poorer water quality, increased air pollution and a dwindling forest.

Agroforestry is a growing practice around the world in which forests are cared for by local residents, who also sustainably harvest fruits, nuts and sometimes the trees themselves. With proper management and reforestation practices, these forests and their “farmers” flourish, reaping benefits from each other.