Kissidougou in Guinea, West Africa, is characterised by so-called 'forest islands', relics - it was assumed -of original dense forest cover. It was also assumed that local cultivation practice was to blame for the destruction of the trees. However, as collaborative research led by the School of Oriental and African Studies, the Institute of Development Studies and Guinean researchers discovered, villagers had a different story to tell: that the forest islands had in fact been established over several generations as part of a process of deliberate forest management. Archives and air-photographs backed the villagers' perspective and investigation of land-use practices showed how landscapes were being enriched.
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