#FreetownTheTreeTown campaign – Sierra Leone

The World Bank
Publicado: 14 Enero 2022
Última edición: 14 Enero 2022
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Summary

Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, is situated at the edge of a heavily forested mountainous area. The city is expanding rapidly, and urban sprawl continues to cut deeper into its surrounding forest, resulting in steeply declining tree canopy cover. This ongoing deforestation increases the risk of landslides, flooding, and coastal erosion. To deal with rapid urbanisation, population expansion, and low employment rates, the Freetown City Council has initiated the tree-planting campaign #FreetowntheTreetown. The campaign pioneers a sustainable tree-growing model through the engagement of local citizens. Community-based growers use the TreeTracker app to plant, monitor, and maintain new trees. In return, these local growers receive micropayments for their efforts. The goal of the campaign is to plant and grow 1 million trees by 2022, which translates to an increase of the city's vegetation cover by 50%.

Classifications

Region
África Occidental y Central
Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystem
Area-wide development
Ecosistema urbano
Theme
Acceso y participación en los beneficios
Actores locales
Financiación sostenible
Mitigación del cambio climático
Prevención de erosión
Reducción de desastres
Restauracion
Servicios ecosistémicos
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Sustainable urban infrastructure and services
Challenges
Avalanchas/Derrumbes
Lluvia errática
Inundaciones
Degradación de tierras y bosques
Pérdida de la biodiversidad
Aumento del nivel del mar
Usos conflictivos / impactos acumulativos
Erosión
Falta de oportunidades de ingresos alternativos
Desempleo / pobreza
Sustainable development goals
ODS 1 - Fin de la pobreza
ODS 3 - Salud y bienestar
ODS 5 - Igualidad de género
ODS 11 - Ciudades y comunidades sostenibles
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
Aichi targets
Meta 2: Valores de biodiversidad integrados
Meta 14: Los servicios ecosistemicos
Meta 15: Restauración de ecosistemas y resiliencia
Sendai Framework
Meta 4: Reducir los daños de desastres a la infraestructura crítica y los trastornos a los servicios básicos como las instalaciones educativas y de salud, incluyendo el desarrollo de su resiliencia para 2030.

Ubicación

Freetown, Western Area, Sierra Leone

Impacts

In the 2020-21 phase, 250,000 trees were planted, focusing on the steeper slope areas where communities are more susceptible to landslides. Additionally, 50,000 mangrove trees will be planted to restore the coastal wetlands and reduce flood risk. The campaign provides multiple benefits such as improved air and water quality; reduced risk of flooding, landslides and soil erosion; reduction of heat stress; and CO2 capture.

 

Additionally, the project shows how reforestation can create employment opportunities. Until now, it has created 550 short-term jobs focusing on vulnerable and marginalized women and youth. To ensure sustainable financing, the tree tags can be turned into "impact tokens" which can be traded to outside parties. Revenue from the "impact tokens" is used to finance further tree planting and nurseries.

 

Lastly, this project provides an example of how regreening cities through tree planting is more than just 'planting' new trees. The growers revisit, maintain, verify and document the plant's growth. Through the active involvement of the local community, the campaign is working towards an 80% tree-survival rate.

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Eline van Remortel IUCN Urban Alliance