Guinea, one of the African Countries Facing Challenges from Climate Change
Welcome to my blog! Have you ever heard about climate change in Guinea?
My post seeks to focus on Guinea’s climate risks, including the potential impact of climate change on four major sectors: water resources, forests, biodiversity, and agriculture. Guinea is located in the West part of Africa and is known for its natural resources such as rivers, seas, forests, and animals. But in recent years, with the increased release of fossil fuels, and forests destructions, guinea has been facing one of the world’s most notable changes: climate challenges. This change slowly affects natural resources in Guinea through rising temperatures, floods, etc. Pressure on Guinea’s agriculture and water supply due to fluctuations in rainfall and increased drought can increase dependence on forest resources. Guinea’s climate change threatens species and prolongs the fire season in mountain and lowland forests.
Water Shortage in Guinea
Guinea is a land of lush forested mountains with powerful rivers flowing through the coastal mangrove swamps. It is also the birthplace of Niger, the largest river in West Africa, and travels north to the Sahara before flowing into the waters of Nigeria. Guinea is the “West African water tower,” Many subregional waterways originate from Guinea (world bank, 2021). Climate change in Guinea has had a devastating impact on these resources. On June 5, a year after the worst drought in Guinea’s history, the two hydroelectric power plants that supplied water and electricity to the capital were almost dry. Most of the city’s 2 million inhabitants have been without water in the last six months (TNH,2003). During the day, the faucets often dry for several days in a row, so children stumble down the street with buckets full of muddy well water in their heads. However, after the drought, the decrease in rainfall had a significant impact on the behavior of the river. Outflows have diminished, and some of the formerly perennial rivers in the upper and central parts of the country dried up during the dry season. Freshwater stocks in Guinea are also seriously damaged by human activity (pollution, improper fishing, etc.).
Ongoing Forests destructions in Guinea
Guinea’s pure air comes from primary moist forests that have been severely damaged from daily deforestation and forest fires in rural areas. According to the Global Forest Watch, intensive agriculture contributed to this deforestation, with most of the fires recorded in 2016 totaling 5.7 maha. From 2002 to 2020, Guinea lost its damp jungle. This accounts for 0.92 of the total loss of tree covering. From December 14, 2020, to December 6, 2021, Guinea’s forest area decreased by 6.6%. Sixteen thousand five hundred forty-nine fire alarms have been recently reported, which is considered low compared to 2012. (Global forest watch,2021)
In 1965, Guinea’s mangrove ecosystem was estimated at 350,000 hectares and is now 250,000 hectares. In Sangareah, the number of tree species used for wood fuel is estimated to be 45,000 tons per year. Logging activities are carried out without a management plan, and there is a fundamental mismatch between the level of logging and the potential of each logging area. Many mangrove trees are used in Guinea for various reasons, including smoking fish, salt extraction, and construction. As a result, the recovery of mangrove forests is now at stake. A layer of herbs gradually replaces the flora of the tree. Wood is not only the country’s most important source of energy, but also provides building materials, food sources, and medicines. Over 1200 plants are used in traditional processing, garment, carving, shoemaking, tanning factories, wood for export, and other services. Rainforests, arid forests, savannas, and mountain ecosystems have deteriorated significantly in recent years and are now in a highly fragmented state. Today, there are only a few trees and animals surviving in the ancient forests of Guinea. The security measures implemented are very arbitrary and protect only 7% of the country’s territory.
Biodiversity extinction in Guinea
Guinea’s forests are one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world (Convention on biological diversity,2021). However, the biodiversity situation in the region is under serious threat. The exploitation of wildlife and birds has dramatically outpaced the increase in nature and has led to the disappearance of certain species. In Guinea, the exploitation of wildlife in certain areas has dramatically exceeded, and many species are endangered. In addition, Guinean wildlife is under serious threat from commercial hunting, exacerbated by the increasing demand for bushmeat (Convention on biological diversity,2021) in our markets and internationally. Hunting in Guinea doesn’t spare pregnant and small animals, leading to the disappearance of wildlife in most ecosystems. The situation is exacerbated by the destruction of the animal’s habitats which is the destruction of the forests.
Agriculture problem in Guine
Agriculture problem in Guinea
Guinea’s agriculture accounts for up to 22% of GDP and makes a living. Guinea’s economic growth depends on agriculture. However, due to climate change, plants are very vulnerable. Guinea’s plant production is currently low compared to other countries in the region. Most Guineans rely on the sale of grains, livestock, and fish to meet their daily food needs. Twenty-six percent of Guinea’s population is chronically malnourished (Climate links. 2018), and climate change is deteriorating food security and nutrition. Rice is still the most popular consumed crop model in Guinea. Studies showed that low production gradually reduces crop production and increases import demand in Guinea (Climate links, 2018).
Sources (James temple, 2017)
Studies have shown that corn, another important crop in Guinea, will decline by 5 to 25 percent by 2050 due to fluctuations in temperature and rainfall. The southern borders of N’Zérékoré and Kankan are the primary victim. With rising temperatures and extended breeding, pests such as desert locusts can accelerate crop damage. Decreased rainfall and increased temperatures can also contribute to the spread of new agricultural pests in Guinea.
Climate change is a severe phenomenon affecting our world in every sector, and therefore, People should be thoughtful in their actions and decisions. However, with all the dangers and risks projected on Guinea’s nature, we can avoid the worst by taking steps that consist of restoring our forests and reducing the use of fossil fuels.
Link to litterature infographic
Climate Risk Profile: Guinea. (2018). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://www.climatelinks.org/resources/climate-risk-profile-guinea
Guinea battling a drought caused by deforestation | Africanews. (2019). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://www.africanews.com/2019/08/02/guinea-battling-a-drought-caused-by-deforestation/
(2021). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2021/05/26/guinea-world-bank-provides-support-to-improve-the-management-of-mining-and-natural-resources
Guinea Deforestation Rates & Statistics | GFW. (2021). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from Link
Guinea: Water and power shortages blamed on drought – Guinea. (2003). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://reliefweb.int/report/guinea/guinea-water-and-power-shortages-blamed-drought
Main Details. (2021). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://www.cbd.int/countries/profil
Pamela Ronald reinvents rice: Drought-resistant varieties show progress. (2017). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2017/05/09/pamela-ronald-reinvents-rice-drought-resistant-varieties-show-progress/
World’s mammals being eaten into extinction, report warns – BIODIVERSITY SRI LANKA. (2016). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://biodiversitysrilanka.org/worlds-mammals-being-eaten-into-extinction-report-warns