Guinean authorities have indicated a ban on logging from Monday across the territory of this West African country as it has come under attack for its rich biodiversity through massive deforestation, it noted on social media.
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This decision comes in the wake of secret slaughter operations that caused an uproar in recent weeks in the regions of Mamo or Farana (central).
“After noticing the arbitrary cutting of timber in our forests and the illegal exploitation of forest resources in general, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests prohibits the cutting and transportation of timber throughout the national territory. As of Monday, June 14, 2021 until further notice”, indicates a statement from the ministry published on its page on Facebook on June 11.
The Ministry prevents the administration from issuing permits for cutting and transportation.
Guinea is “one of the countries with the fastest rates of deforestation in the world,” the ministry said on its website in an article titled “Undisturbed Deforestation”.
From 14 million hectares in the 1960s, the forest cover by the end of 2010 had fallen to less than 700,000 hectares, making Guinea “one of the bad students” in forest conservation, the text says, despite reforestation efforts that have been undertaken. Even “a few fragments of classified forests (…) were not spared.”
A variety of factors are cited: expansion of the cultivation of cocoa, coffee or palm oil, slash-and-burn cultivation practiced by a growing population, demographic pressure from the population which has doubled in forty years, mining, logging, legal or secretly for oneself or other activities Like extracting salt or smoking fish.
According to specialists, this deforestation leads to the impoverishment of biodiversity and affects the population in the face of soil erosion and acidification.
A few days ago, national television reported the discovery of large quantities of wood, especially the so-called rosewood, that was illegally felled in the Mamou region.
“According to the information we have, this wood is exported to Sierra Leone (a neighboring country) and dried to Asian countries,” said Col. Layali Camara, the national director of water and forestry.
“We have not been informed either closely or remotely by residents,” said Kappa Keita, a local deputy governor.
The authorities announced the suspension of the work of several senior officials in the administration and forest services following cases of illegal logging.