COP15: protecting forests thanks to local people

We enter the Lama’s forest as a sacred place. It is now sacred by Men who refuse to cut anything there. It is also sacred by the voodoo gods who live there. More prosaically, ecologists from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) note with satisfaction the presence of native species. Afzelia africana, Albizia ferruginea, Dennetia tripelata, Gardenia imperialis, Khaya grandifoliola with a height of more than 30 meters. These species testify to the not-so-distant past when the plains of southern Benin were covered with equatorial forests. Today, these dense forest ecosystems cover only 2% of the area. “It won’t go any lower” Ibrahim Djabarou, captain of Benin’s National Timber Office (ONAB) and in charge of the Lama plantation, breathes. Since 2017, Benin law has banned any exploitation and export of wood and charcoal from 3,000 forest remnants, most of which are sacred, totaling 18,000 hectares. Lama alone covers an area of ​​4000 hectares. Natural pearl.

The llama also almost disappeared. It owes its existence to its location on poor soil unsuitable for agriculture, which is the main reason for the disappearance of trees in Benin. His only interest was wood and bushmeat. Two kinds of monkeys, Cercopithecus erythrogaster and Cercopithecus mona and mammals such as worms provided a cheap source of protein for local populations. Wood is used to heat water and cook food. “Everyone went into the forest and helped themselves as they wanted.” local farmer Wagbl knows Bernady. Today, she sympathizes with Abraham, but forbids him to buy anything. “We consulted with each other, we agreed, it’s a win-win situation.” the forester rejoices. “Today, we protect, and since we are the only ones that exist permanently, it is our duty to fight fires.” Wagble brags about Bernadine.

Challenge for COP 15: respect for local populations

The solution is called teak.

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