The Republic of Guinea is a medium sized (245,800 km²) country on the Atlantic coast of West Africa. In spite of its size, Guinea is very diverse with a mangrove-rich coastline, several mountain ranges which give rise to mighty rivers such as the Gambia, Senegal and Niger rivers, large areas of savannahs and rainforests with many endemic species of fauna and flora. Although it is severely defaunated, the country holds the largest remaining population of critically endangered chimpanzees in West Africa. It also contributes several key biodiversity areas to the west African rainforest’s biodiversity hotspot.

Guinea holds more than a third of the world's bauxite reserves (25 billion tonnes) and is experiencing a mining boom in its Fouta Djallon mountains, around Boké. Large mining projects for iron ore on the Pic de Fon (Simandou) and Mount Nimba have also recently been relaunched. These investments come with associated transport infrastructure (roads, rail, ports, etc.) and growing energy needs. To meet them, Guinea is developing its vast hydropower potential, which also implies building access roads and powerlines.

Despite its wealth of natural resources, Guinea remains one of the poorest countries in the world (per capita GDP is less than 900 USD/year). At least a fifth of the country’s 13 million people live in the capital, Conakry, and the urban population is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decade. For now, however, most Guineans are very reliant on natural resources and ecosystem services for their livelihoods.

COMBO in Guinea is jointly implemented by Biotope and Guinée Ecologie since 2016.

PARTNERS

COMBO works closely with the Guinean ministry of environment (Ministère de l’Environnement, des Eaux et Forêts – MEEF) and was instrumental is the creation by the government of Guinea of a dedicated entity, the CN-CIBE (Comité National pour la Compensation des Impacts sur la Biodiversité et les Ecosystèmes) charged with developing and overseeing the implementation of the country’s strategy concerning mitigation and offsetting of development impacts on biodiversity. The CN-CIBE brings together several ministries as well as civil society representatives and successfully prepared a strategy which was endorsed by the government in 2019.

COMBO works with all members of the CN-CIBE, including the Bureau Guinéen d'Audit et de Contrôle Environnemental (BGACE), responsible for environmental licensing within the environment ministry. COMBO also works with the agencies that manage protected areas in the Guinea: Office Guinéen des Parcs et Réserves (OGPR) and the forest administration (Direction des Forêts). COMBO also works closely with international NGOs that are active in the country: the Wild Chimp Foundation (WCF), Kew Gardens, the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), the Jane Goodall Institute and others.

Engagement with the private sector is important and COMBO was one of the initial supporters of the creation of the Réseau Environnement Bauxite (REB) which brings together several mining bauxite companies to share lessons and solutions to common problems regarding biodiversity.

RESOURCES

National Strategy on Mitigation and Offsetting:

Environment Code

Chimpanzee Action Plan

Atlas