Our focus in Senegal lies within the restoration of nature and the fight against poverty. In close collaboration with WAPPES, West African Preservation Programme for Endangered Species, we aim to save the dying forests in one of the poorest regions of West Africa by educating and supporting the local population.
WAPPES – Reforestation
Ongoing study has shown that the over the past hundred years 90% of the 500.000 square kilometres of forest that once stretched over West Africa has disappeared. (Lost Forests Leave West Africa Dry, New Scientist, 18 January 1997). Since forests are responsible for the "West African Monsoon" system their disapearance does not only create a huge problem for West Africa, but for the entire world. While the droughts in West Africa increase in duration and make live more and more difficult, the damaged monsoon system also has effects on the dvelopment of global ecological disasters.
Since today the climate change becomes more and more apparent, First Focus Foundation decided to support WAPPES in their endavour against poverty, deforestation and desertification.
The main reason for the destruction of forests is poverty. People rely on natural resources in order to survive and therefore it is of uttermost importance to solve this problem first and to improve overall living conditions. Therefore WAPPES has designed a programme to create many jobs in combination of the reforestation programme in the Ferlo reservation. Under the supervision of the MAB programme from UNESCO as well as the support of the forestry office, WAPPES also works on creating small biospheres where nature can be used sustainably to improve the living conditions of local people. After an extensive education the biospheres enable the local population to secure an income from nature protection, which in return makes them appreciate their environment more.