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Press Relases August 24, 2006

Conservation International and Guinee Ecologie Launch Report on Environment in Boke Prefecture

Conakry, Guinea—Conservation International (CI), in partnership with national environmental group Guinée Ecologie, announced that they are launching an environmental report detailing a biodiversity survey conducted in areas of Boké prefecture of Guinea in May 2005 as well as an associated action plan for its conservation developed in a subsequent stakeholder workshop.

The report is published in CI’s Rapid Assessment Program’s RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment, and was funded through a partnership with international aluminum producers Alcoa and Alcan to better understand the region’s biodiversity as the companies develop a 1.5 million tonne per year (mtpy) alumina refinery project in that area. CI and Guinée Ecologie hope that collaboration with Alcoa and Alcan will help the companies minimize the environmental impacts of the refinery, as well as make a lasting contribution to the sustainable development of the region.

The surveys detailed in the RAP report focused in the Rio Kapatchez, Kamsar and Sangaredi areas, and in some cases represented the first biological surveys in nearly 50 years. The scientific team included experienced tropical biologists from both foreign and West African institutions, including eight Guinean experts.

While the habitats surveyed appeared heavily impacted by human activity, several important species were observed:
  • A rare crab species (Afrithelphusa monodosus) recorded last in 1947;
  • Several IUCN—The World Conservation Union Red List species, including the endangered western Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) and Western Red Colobus (Procolobus badius), and near-threatened Maxwell’s Duiker (Cephalophus maxwellii);
  • Four reptile species protected by the Convention on the Illegal Trade of Endangered Species (Pelusios niger, Varanus niloticus, Chamaleo gracilis and Python regius);
  • Two bird species recorded for the first time in Guinea, the Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) and the Icterine Warbler (Hippolais icterina); and
  • Possibly two newly recorded species (one katydid and one amphibian).
The report suggests increased protection of the region’s remaining mangroves and gallery forests, given the key ecosystem functions they provide, including nursery grounds for commercially important species of crustaceans and fish and freshwater supply for the region’s communities. Also suggested was increased protection for endangered species currently under hunting and habitat degradation pressures from deforestation and slash and burn agriculture.

Moving forward, CI and Guinée Ecologie, along with Alcoa and Alcan, will be looking for ways to carry forward the recommendations made in the RAP report for conservation of Guinea’s biological resources.

In 1999, CI and partners held a priority setting workshop in West Africa. The results of this workshop identified nearly the entire coastal zone of the remaining Upper Guinea Forest, particularly Guinea’s coast, as a high priority area for biodiversity conservation. As the best developed mangroves in western Africa, the Guinean mangrove ecosystem provides important habitat for migratory birds and endangered species such as the West African manatee and the pygmy hippopotamus as well as key habitat for many fish and invertebrate species. Conservation action is urgently needed to protect and responsibly manage remaining areas.

Guinea also has one of the world’s largest bauxite reserves, which represent a major economic activity for the country and its people. Bauxite ore is a key ingredient in the manufacturing of aluminum. The refinery will support local economic activity in Guinea, and prevent the need for shipping as much of the country’s raw bauxite to refineries in other parts of the world.

Julian Teixeria


Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) provides a new forum for collaboration between the private sector and the environmental community. Created in partnership with Conservation International (CI) and the Ford Motor Company, CELB operates as a division of CI and is governed by a distinct executive board of leaders from the business and environmental communities-engaging the private sector worldwide in creating solutions to critical global environmental problems in which industry plays a defining role. For further information about CELB, please visit


Katrin Olson
[email protected]



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