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Our observations

For fifty years now, Senegal has been confronted with massive deforestation. According to an estimation by the FAO, the country’s overall natural forest area has diminished from 11 million hectares in the 1960s to 6.3 million hectares today, which means a drop of almost 43 per cent.

Besides the impacts of drought periods, deforestation is directly related to human activities, such as:

  • logging for construction purposes, manufacturing, kitchen purposes (fire wood) and timber export,
  • the production of charcoal ,
  • bush fires,
  • increase in land cultivation,
  • wandering of livestock.
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Result of a bush fire in Eastern Senegal (Copyright: Hellio & Van Ingen).

Today, an increasing human population in the whole region puts further stress on the remaining forests. The consequences for the quality of the soils are especially disastrous. Without the protection by trees and their roots, the soils are subject to serious aquatic and wind erosion. This process entails the disappearance of the cover layer of the soil, which is rich in nutrients and essential for any vegetation. Therefore, thousands of hectares become sterile and hence useless for agriculture. Eventually, degradation leads to desertification.

Addressing these observations, Oceanium conducts important programmes for forest protection as well as for reforestation of mangroves and essential trees. On top of that, we set up village plant nurseries and environmental education centres.

Ensemble, protégeons notre planète !