Guinea – Fouta Djallon

Demonstrating the rewards approach to policy makers and the private sector

The Fouta Djallon Highlands consist of mountainous landscapes in Guinea that extend into Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia. The highlands support a rich variety of natural ecosystems and are the source of major rivers in West Africa, notably the Gambia, Niger and Senegal.

A waterfall in the Fouta Djallon highlands. PHOTO: Miika Mäkelä

A waterfall in the Fouta Djallon highlands. PHOTO: Miika Mäkelä

There is, however, widespread ecosystem degradation due to economic activities such as logging and clearing land for farming. This could be due to policy gaps and weak policy enforcement, especially regarding trans-boundary or cross-sectoral natural resource management, as found out from previous ICRAF work in Guinea and Sierra Leone by the Landscape Management for Improved Livelihoods (LAMIL) project.

Policymakers and private sector stakeholders in Fouta Djallon countries are interested in the potential for a rewards-based scheme to address natural resource degradation.

Building on this interest, PRESA formed a partnership with the Centre d’Etude et de Recherche en Environnement (CÉRE) at the Conakry University.

A prototype scheme for watershed service payments is getting established in the Coyah site to demonstrate to the Coyah bottling company how a reward for environmental services scheme might be implemented. The company is interested in buying watershed services from communities.

In addition, another prototype scheme is being set up at Balayan Souroumba for biodiversity payments based on critical chimpanzee habitat maps. The work at Balayan Souroumba is supported with funds from the United Nations Development Programme.

Next steps

  1. Establish prototype payment mechanisms for biodiversity and water.
  2. Document lessons.
  3. Dialogue with the Coyah water bottling company, mining companies and policy makers.
  4. A readiness study (policy, legal and institutional frameworks) for rewards for environmental services in Guinea and Cameroon.

Site profile

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Environmental service

  • Water quality and quantity for industrial use and community consumption.
  • Biodiversity conservation.

Potential provider of environmental services

  • The Coyah community
  • Balayan Souroumba co-management committee

Potential buyers

  • Coyah water company
  • Mining companies for biodiversity offset schemes.