As part of the COMBO+ project, and in particular the activities carried out in response to specific objective 2, the "Red List of Threatened Species and IUCN Ecosystems in Guinea" workshop was held all day on Thursday, November 2, 2023 in Conakry.

As a reminder, the aim of Component 2 is to develop tools and practical guides for assessing Guinean biodiversity, its spatial planning and its current state of conservation on Guinean territory, in order to be able to apply an appropriate national environmental impact mitigation strategy.
To achieve this, it is essential to assess the state of knowledge and data available on Guinean species and ecosystems. And this is precisely what the methodology for applying the criteria of IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, for the creation of Red Lists makes it possible to do.
The following COMBO+ objectives were presented at the workshop:

  • Identify the threatened status of species according to their taxonomic group, based on the global Red List and work carried out on this subject in Guinea and the sub-region: This initial work has enabled us to propose a list of priority species determining Guinea's national responsibility for the conservation of these identified species, in order to prioritize conservation efforts and the taxa on which it is most urgent to improve the state of knowledge. 

  • Provide a roadmap for assessing the state of ecosystems in Guinea.

The workshop brought together about thirty national and international participants, both face-to-face and online - authorities and institutions, notably representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Guinean Office of Natural Parks and Wildlife Reserves, naturalist experts from the associative, private and research sectors, including the National Herbarium, Kew Garden, CIRAD, Birdlife and Guinée Ecologie.

The national list of priority conservation species for Guinea
The Biotope team began by explaining how the IUCN red list of species works, and the 5 criteria that make it up. This was followed by a presentation of the current state of existing data in Guinea, and a simplified methodology based on an assessment of global IUCN data after spatial analysis.
The aim of this provisional methodology is to draw up a list defining the level of urgency for species conservation, to guide government action prior to updating the red list at Guinea level. The list of priority species and the criteria used to rank them were presented to the participants, along with the limits of the approach adopted and the prospects that may arise from it. The summary note and the methodology adopted were then sent to the participants and modified according to their recommendations. 

The Red List of threatened ecosystems in Guinea
The purpose of drawing up this red list of threatened ecosystems is to apply the mitigation hierarchy, by identifying and spatially mapping threatened ecosystems, to avoid impacts in these areas and identify potential sites for restoration and ecological compensation. In COMBO 1, 144 habitats were differentiated into 5 levels of detail.
The steps to be taken to draw up the guidelines for the creation of the Red List of Ecosystems in Guinea were then detailed:
1.    Define the list of ecosystems present in Guinea according to the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology (GET) (completed);
2.    Mapping of "current" (2020) ecosystems in Guinea according to the IUCN GET typology;
3.    Test the assessment on 2 ecosystems among the threatened ecosystems already identified by Kew Garden/Guinea heather (Couch et al, 2019) (in progress) ;
4.    Adapt and consolidate the method in the light of the tests.

All workshop materials and available deliverables were sent to all participants to gather their expert opinions on our work.