The Association of Fishermen of the Rural Municipality of Mangagoulack (Casamance, Senegal) – famous for its ICCA Kawawana and Member of the ICCA Consortium – is facing a sudden and serious threat to its local environment: its Mayor has just signed off to charcoal making the local natural forest at the heart of the municipality. Following a US AID project that is said to have promoted charcoal making (apparently in other area of the country), the local mayor has hastily had a few people “trained” in the practice – which is totally unknown locally – and signed off its agreement to an NGO to carry out the initiative. Fortunately, Kawawana has awaken the environmental consciences of the local residents, who well know that charcoal making will rob them of much of their forest, biodiversity and wild foods, and will affect the local climate, including rainfall crucial for their rice production. The APCRM and our Honorary member Salatou Sambou are up in arms and have been visiting as many people as they could to inform them of the issue and related problems… They have also spoken with the people who have been trained do carry out the “charcoal making operations” and these people have already demanded a meeting with the Mayor to get more information on the consequences of what they are supposed to do.
Unfortunately this is yet another example of what is going on in many countries: local politicians with a stated end aim of “development” are using up – sometimes shamelessly – the natural resources of their constituencies and leaving behind a desert. Development often remains a dream looming on the horizon… at times confused with the car dust of the politicians living to find better quarters elsewhere. Some of us are eager to discuss these “problems with representative democracy”, common in both the North as in the South of the world… Please let us know if you are interested as well.
You can download here the leaflet in French that Salatou and his colleagues have prepared to awaken the local residents ‘Halte a la carbonisacion de la foret communautaire de Mangagoulack!!!’. If you have any information, any study or any advice about how to tackle this kind of issues and save the local natural forest, please contact Grazia (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Salatou (email@example.com) in French. Thanks in advance!