Guinea's deforestation

GUINEA: Government rehabilitates logging, despite deforestation

Logging resumes in Guinea after more than a year of prohibition motivated by the need to preserve a forest cover victim of massive looting. The West African country is one of the “bad students” of forest conservation.

In Guinea, the resumption of logging has been authorized by the government. The measure comes after more than a year of a ban motivated by uncontrolled logging in a country with rich biodiversity attacked by massive deforestation.

At the end of the Council of Ministers of October 14, 2022, the Guinean government indicated that the exploitation of wood should however be reserved for local use and supervised. As for the export of wood, it remains prohibited. The lifting of the ban on logging in Guinea is valid for one year, with the aim of “meeting the local need for wood”, indicates the Council of Ministers in its press release.

This measure is also accompanied by a reduction in the number of licensed operators, the number of chainsaws, and a three-fifths reduction in cutting quotas at the national level, now set at 8,208 cubic meters per month.

The reasons for a contested decision

The Guinean government is thus reversing the decision it took in June 2021. The Guinean Ministry of the Environment then banned the cutting and transport of wood throughout the territory. A few months after the implementation of this decision, the Guinean timber market experienced an unprecedented shortage. “There has been the soaring price of wood, there has also been unemployment at several levels of our carpentry workshops, even in certain sheet metal, high-tech and plywood industries. Wood is very important in social life at all levels,” explains Ansoumane Camara, president of the National Federation of Wood Industry Professionals (FNPFB).

Faced with this observation, professionals in the wood industry have taken a series of steps to challenge the government on its decision. To relieve the sector, the authorities published on January 14, 2022 an order relating to the supply of the local market with lumber to assist the population.

Guinea is yet one of the countries with the fastest deforestation rates in the world. In a 2019 article titled “rampant deforestation”, Guinea’s environment ministry says the country’s forest cover fell from 14 million hectares in the 1960s to less than 700,000 hectares by the end of the 1960s. 2010s. What makes Guinea “”one of the bad students” of forest conservation”, describes the text.