Sierra Leone

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Nachhaltige Landwirtschaft unterstützen

bedeutet Urwald schützen

Rainforests in Sierra Leone

 

Only 4 percent of the land area of Sierra Leone is covered by virgin forests

There are barely any virgin forests left in Sierra Leone with only 4 percent of the country still covered by them. During the last 25 years the total forested area has shrunk by more than 50 percent. Against this background, the protection of the remaining forests becomes an increasingly urgent matter. This is especially so because forests play a key role in limiting the adverse effects of climate change. In terms of carbon dioxide emissions, since 2001 Sierra Leone has lost forests equivalent to 80 million tons of the greenhouse gas. This corresponds to the total yearly Co2 output of the world’s largest per capita emitter Qatar, or Nigeria’s total yearly Co2 output (a country with more than 180 million inhabitants) respectively. Additionally, the remaining virgin forests in Sierra Leone are an important refuge for the great, Sierra Leonean biodiversity. With more than 15 primate species which are home to these forests, Sierra Leone is among the world’s most important and diverse refugiums for primates. Next to over 600 bird species, these forests also shelter the last populations of bigger mammals. Among them are the forest elephant, leopards and the pygmy hippopotamus.

Harvesting Palm Fruits, Cocoa and Coffee

instead of Burning Forests

 

Slash and burn agriculture has been the most common farming practice on the uplands. These are the non-flooded land areas with forest growth which represent about 80 percent of the total land area. However, with slash and burn agriculture soils are mostly depleted after one to two years which forces smallholders move on and burn new forest areas. To promote sustainability GreenRise encourages the cultivation of perennial crops on the uplands such as cocoa trees, coffee plants, avocado trees, mango trees or oil palms.  Once planted they thrive over decades and make the slashing and burning of forests largely superfluous. This positively impacts the climate footprint because these perennial agricultural forests act as natural carbon reservoirs. Simultaneously, these perennial tree cultures provide a considerably more complex agro-ecology and habitat for the local flora and fauna than the ever-burning slash and burn fields.

In Kambama, a small village in Southern Sierra Leone situated close to the vast Gola rainforests smallholder farmers are successfully cultivate cocoa and avocado trees and coffee plants which grow amid the natural forest vegetation. Through the earnings which come from the sale of these cash crops the village has been able to largely do without slash and burn agriculture.

The GreenRise Team visits a smallholder palm oil plantation in the surroundings of Kambama, a small village situated in the virgin forests in Southern Sierra Leone

If farmer families lack knowledge or are unable to buy seeds for the cultivation of perennial crops such as oil palms, cocoa or coffee, they mostly fall back onto slash-and-burn practices. This form of cultivation is particularly exhausting,  unproductive and unsustainable.

Farmers engaging in arduous manual field preparation after burning of the vegetation.

Rice Cultivation on Grasslands for Protection of Rainforests

Cultivating more intensively on grasslands promotes the protection of remaining rainforests and the reforestation of burned forest areas in Sierra Leone

On these grasslands neither rainforest nor Savannah vegetation can grow, which makes them suitable for sustainable cultivation of, for example, rice - Kambia, Nord Sierra Leone

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Landessparkasse zu Oldenburg

LzO Cloppenburg

DE92 2805 0100 0092 8291 42

GreenRise Sierra Leone e.V.

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In Southern Sierra Leone where GreenRise is active with agricultural projects we discourage and do not engage in slash and burn agriculture (learn more about slash and burn agriculture here). Also, we do not use any land where eco-systems can develop on the low lands. In collaboration with the local villages GreenRise only farms of these areas. In Southern Sierra Leone thousands of these fertile grasslands are lying fallow. As a result of the intensive cultivation of these grasslands the local villages do not need to engage in any other farming activities. For them there is no necessity to continue with the slash and burn practices on adjacent forest areas. Thus, these forest lands have the chance to gradually regrow. rain forests can thrive or which is generally usable for reforestation. GreenRise exclusively uses so-called low lands which make up approximately 20 percent of the total land area of Sierra Leone. As a consequence of the existence two very distinctive seasons (one dry and one rainy season) these low lying lands are flooded for several months of the year. As the floods can be as high as 2 meters the entire vegetation on these lands is flooded and is literally drowned. During the peak of the rainy season Sierra Leone experiences more precipitations than in the Amazon rainforest. Thus, except for vast grasslands which regrow during the dry seasons no complexe.

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Donations Account

Landessparkasse zu Oldenburg

LzO Cloppenburg

DE92 2805 0100 0092 8291 42

GreenRise Sierra Leone e.V.

Contact          Imprint          Data Protection (German)