The best time to plant a tree was 20years ago, the second best is today.
Analysis of changes in land cover shows continuing deforestation in the Agou region since 2001. Te loss of forest has a number of direct efects on the ecological balance of the soil. In addition to changes in the nutrient cycle and a decline in biodiversity, progressive deforesta- tion can lead to a long-term reduction in groundwater levels due to soil compaction and higher rates of erosion and fooding.
In addition to establishing a truly natural forest to improve biodiver- sity, we will create a commercial woodland as a green and protective belt around the natural forest. Tis will be arranged in such a way that tree species, whose fruit and seeds can be harvested and pro- cessed, will be planted on the edge of the forest.
Careful handling in and with the forest is PROJECT TOGO’s first commandment. Therefore, the forest will be certifed to meet the internationally renowned FSC label.
Our primary objective is to establish an environmentally sound, socially acceptable, and economically viable management of forests, and to ensure the full integration of all social stakeholders.
The trees planted in the project originate from Togo’s climatic zone and do not have to adapt to new conditions. Fast-growing, slow-growing, deep-rooted and shallow-rooted trees are all taken into account. Te establishment of indigenous tree species strengthens the animal world and gives them the opportunity to resettle the region and increase their numbers. Te adaptability of these trees to climate-driven, extreme weather changes and resulting rises in temperature is good to very good. Te trees have demonstrated their adaptability to the weather conditions over centuries. Targeted reforestation will create a new greenbelt in Togo. Forest stress due to harvesting and other anthropogenic activities will not occur in the conservation zone. „Forest rangers“ will be employed to protect the zone and monitor the sustainable development of new forest areas.
The aim of the operation is the planting of indigenous tree species to create a conservation zone. In the long term, a natural forest should develop from the conservation zone. It is clear from the survey of the actual conditions that there is no need for fertilizers for the establishment of a natural forest. Long term irrigation is also unnecessary due to the species of plants selected. As the objective of the operation is the establishment of a self-regulating ecosystem, maintenance expenditure is very low.
The ground is tilled in order to loosen up and aerate the soil. Terefore the tillage should be carried out shortly before planting so as to avoid renewed compaction of the soil. A strict planting scheme is not stipulated so as to help a natural development. Te trees are planted in groups of 24 trees in suitable arrangements that are geometrically adapted to the local conditions. Te conservation zones are managed in such a way as to ensure their development as a natural, self-regulating ecosystem. In doing so, particular emphasis is placed on the development of fora and fauna. The boundaries of the conservation area will be measured by GPS afer successful planting because advance measurement is not possible due to the site-adapted nature of the planting process.