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.
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.
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!