The project is designed to stimulate the restoration of the once valuable forest treasures in communities in the Yoni Chiefdom, Tonkolili District Sierra Leone. The grant will provide assorted fast growing seedlings, tools and training for 200 children from 4 primary schools so that they could take part in a tree planting competition in the chiefdom. As a reward for their efforts, prizes will be awarded to the school with the most surviving trees at the end of one year of care for the trees.
Primary Forest lands and their attendant flora and fauna are almost extinct in the entire Yoni chiefdom. The dominant farming is upland, slash and burn. Lands once occupied by natural forest around the villages are now bare except for grasslands that nearly every year succumb to bush fires that usually engulf whole villages. There is very little awareness and motivation among the population in the communities on the actions of reforestation and forestry management
The project will sensitize communities on the importance of reforestation and motivate action. At the end of the project, forest plots with a variety of medicinal and economic trees would have been established in key locations of the chiefdom. The established forest lands will be models for communities to emulate, maintain and conserve in a sustainable manner. The children will acquire basic knowledge of taking care of nursery, transplanting and care for field trees.
This project is bold step towards not only the restoration of valuable flora and fauna around communities in the chiefdom, but also the mitigation of climate change and disasters due deforestation and land degradation. The action will also trigger efforts of the communities to recognize the impacts of deforestation on the environment and to cultivate the desire to do something about it.