Our children will be forced to go to the West to see a hare

The invasion and uncontrolled exploitation of protected areas by the populations represent a heavy threat for the future and the risk of losing everything is growing up.

"The more you destroy the resources, the more you run out of rains, the more the impacts of climate change are increased. If we destroy the riches of protected areas, our children will be forced to go to the West to see a hare", warns Chamsoudine AFODA, Coordinator of the Strengthening of the Conservation Role of Togo's National Protected Areas System Project (PRAPT).

According to him, "protected areas are a sanctuary that allows to secure the fauna and the flora for future generations, hence the need to manage them well."

 This situation leads to the disappearance of some plant and animal species, the decrease of the forest cover, the erosion of the grounds, bad distribution of the rains.

"The bowl of corn that you buy at 1000 CFA can cost 2000 CFA because a rain would have failed and the harvest did not work well. Also, the medicinal plants we need, you will not find in the banal areas", warns AFODA.

Currently, 425,483ha, the equivalent of 7.5% of the territory including parks, classified forests and wildlife reserves are covered and secured in Togo thanks to the initiatives of the government and NGOs.

This coverage rate, unlike the 10% of the expected national territory, is explained by the low level of adherence of some local communities scalded by the previous mode of management of protected areas, especially in the Oti-Keran-Mandouri (OKM) complex.

The leaders of PRAPT then opted to sensitize the populations so that they appropriate the challenge of the management of the protected areas. A meeting is therefore ongoing since Tuesday in Sokode (central region).

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