This past weekend, Senegal celebrated its National Arbor Day, or “la journée nationale de l’arbre,” which has taken place on the first Sunday of August every year since 1984. Organized by the local governing council and the National Water and Forestry Service, and sponsored in part by CREATE!, this year Arbor Day in Senegal was celebrated in the Malka National Forest, near Gossas.  Attendees included administrative authorities from local and religious communities, members of the public, and a delegate from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.

Arbor Day in Senegal

Representatives from the National Water and Forest Service planted trees at the Arbor Day celebration to encourage communities to mobilize and support reforestation projects.

This year’s slogan was “Seedlings of Today, Forests of 2035,” underscoring the Water and Forestry Service’s goal of incorporating reforestation into strategic territorial planning. Activities at the event included tree plantings, visits to 2015 tree plantation sites, a guided tour by the Captain of the Gossas Water and Forests Sector, and a formal launch of the national 2017 reforestation campaign. The Water and Forestry Service also emphasized the importance of mobilizing communities, and recognized CREATE! for our work with reforestation projects in partnership with local communities.

Arbor Day in Senegal: Planting Trees

As part of CREATE!’s reforestation program, partner communities grow tree seedlings in small satchels until they are large enough to transplant into the ground, as seen here in Santhie just last month.

To date, CREATE! partner communities have planted over 11,000 trees across rural Senegal with training from our technicians. The CREATE! reforestation program works in conjunction with improved cookstove trainings, by giving participants the skills and resources they need to replenish trees that they harvest for firewood. With reforestation as such an important part of CREATE!’s program, we were honored to be a part National Arbor Day in Senegal this year, and look forward to watching the seedlings of today grow into the forests of the future!