Guinea Biodiversity Assessment and Planning

As part of its efforts to evaluate the environmental and social effects of a planned 1.5 million metric-ton-per-year alumina refinery in Guinea, Alcoa and Alcan worked with Conservation International (CI) in 2005 to conduct an assessment of the area’s biodiversity.

Because there was minimal information about the Boké prefecture’s biodiversity, Alcoa engaged CI to conduct an initial biodiversity assessment and planning project. Such projects integrate biodiversity information and conservation planning into the earliest stages of a project’s design and implementation using a science-based approach.

CI, with assistance from Guinée Ecologie (an in-country environmental non-governmental organization), first conducted a biodiversity rapid assessment, examining the flora and fauna of several sites within the Boké prefecture. The scientific team included experienced tropical biologists from both foreign and West African institutions, including eight Guinean experts.

In some cases, the assessment represented the first biological surveys in nearly 50 years. While the habitats surveyed appeared heavily impacted by human activity, several important species were observed, including a rare crab species recorded at only one other site globally, species on the Red List of Threatened Species, and numerous species never before recorded in Guinea.

CI, Guinée Ecologie, Alcoa, and Alcan presented the findings from the survey at a multi-stakeholder workshop in June 2005 to form an action plan for conserving biodiversity in the Boké prefecture of Guinea.