Observers survey: "Where have our green spaces gone?"

You can click on the picture to see the slide-show !
 
Once upon a time our towns were full of tree-lined streets and parks. But little by little, these green spaces have been destroyed to make way for buildings, shopping centres and roads. Our Observers around the world have shared their photos and fears for the green spaces in which they live.
  
For more than five years, FRANCE 24 has been talking to thousands of Observers around the world about events in their communities. Many of them are concerned about their local environment, and regularly send us photos showing how trees, gardens and parks are being replaced by roads and buildings.
 
We have put together a selection of our Observers’ contributions from all four corners of the globe to document the disappearance of our green spaces. We received many photos from Africa, the Middle East, and also Europe, the Americas and even the Pacific. Thank you to all the Observers who contacted us and shared their stories.
 
IVORY COAST - Abidjan
 
 
 
Abidjan’s ‘quartier du palmier' was the pride and joy of the city. But the land was sold and a church now stands in its place, despite protests and petitions from the local community.
 
Habal Kassoum Traoré
 
 
SYRIA - Aleppo
 
Aleppo, screencaptures of the video published on Youtube by Norasaman.
 
The siege of the town has left residents short of gas and petrol. They have cut the trees and bushes down to make firewood so they can cook and heat their homes in winter.
 
Abdallah Almousa
 
 
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – Nzanga-Ndoki park
 
 
 
Forests in the Central African Republic are mainly destroyed by young unemployed people who cut down the trees illegally. Here, young Central Africans replant trees in the national park in the northwest of the country.
 
Stéphane Youfeina
 
 
UKRAINE – Carpates Mountains
 
 
In Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains, the construction of hydroelectric plants threaten several rivers. Huge pipes and large trenches crisscross the mountains for several kilometres, destroying the ecosystem.

Vasyliuk Oleksij
 
 
GUINEA – Conakry
 
 
 
In the Guinean capital Conakry, green spaces disappear every day because the Guinean authorities turn a blind eye to aggressive tree felling. Several green spaces have now become rubbish dumps where the discarded objects are burnt, killing off any remaining vegetation.
 
Mamadou Oury Bah 
 
ISRAEL – Rehovot
 
 
In the towns of Rehovot and Ness Tsiyona in central Israel, the smell of orange and lemon trees lingers in the air. But people today only think about how comfortable their cars are. A huge bridge was built a few years ago, which has destroyed the countryside.
 
Daniel Qeletti Kedem
 
CAPE VERDE - Praia
 
 
This is a small square, one of the few remaining in Cape Verde. So-called ‘modernisation’ programmes are turning community green spaces into lonely, disused gardens surrounded by concrete.

André Szpera
  
CANADA – Vancouver
 
 
Two weeks ago, I visited virgin forests in British Columbia in Canada. On my last trip there two years ago, it was impossible to get through certain parts of the forest. But today I am shocked to see how much nature has been destroyed by machines.
 
Joseph Boltrukiewicz
 
MAURITANIA – Nouakchott
 
 
In Mauritania, many trees are under threat from stray goats foraging for food.
 
Sidi El Moctar Ibrahim
 
ZIMBABWE – Sanyati
 
 
In this rural town, many trees are being chopped down and sold for scrap.
 
Wallace Mawire
 
 
EGYPT - Al Mansoura
 
 
Just ten years ago, this town was full of green spaces. But buildings and broadening the avenues have now gobbled up the greenery.
 
Adel Mansour
 
 
NEW CALEDONIA – Mangrove
 
 
Tropical mangrove swamps continue to make way for buildings, roads, factories and new squats as in Magenta and Ouémo, close to Nouméa.
 
Manu Lathan
 
 
CHAD – N’Djamena
 
 
Here in N’Djamena, a garden has been cleared so that the Great Basilica can be built. The town’s development means that these relaxing green spaces are priority targets for new construction projects.
 
Salma Khalil
 
 
BRAZIL – Rio - Tijuca Forest
 
Picture published on Sos My green.
 
Plans to build a multi-storey carpark in Brazil’s Tijuca Forest have angered local groups. The carpark project is meant to relieve the congestion from tourists visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue. This picture is a photomontage. It shows what this place will look like if the hotel and the car park are built”
 
Alexis Marchand
 
 
TUNISIA - Menzel-Jemil
 
 
In the town of Bizerte, hundred-year-old trees have been cut down next to a military riding club. In their place stands a half-built wall. I’ve lived here for 60 years and there has always been a tree-lined avenue. We are afraid the others will be cut down soon.
 
Mohammed Sta 
 
IRAN – Marivan
 
 
Saving Kurdistan’s forests has become more difficult since 2007. Fires break out every year and the anti-personnel mines in the region make firefighting extremely dangerous.
 
Kawa Karimi
 
ITALIA – Rome
 
 
Life is difficult for trees in Rome. Italy’s capital evidently waits until they rot from disease and then simply cuts them down!
 
Lorenzo Fantacuzzi
 
BURUNDI – Rukuko nature reserve
 
 
Homes were built in this nature reserve in east Burundi on the pretext that there was nowhere else they could be built. Parks, public gardens and nature reserves are disappearing, and lots of residents cut down trees and use the wood to warm their homes at night.
 
Petit-Pasteur Ndikuriyo
 
We did also receive photos from people who are proud of the green spaces in their communities!   
 
BRAZIL– Goias
 
 
So as not to dwell on the negative, here is a wonderful photo of ‘da vaca Brava’ park, taken in the city of Goiânia in Brazil. Here there are numerous parks and flower-lined streets. Green spaces: if we want them, we can have them!

Savane 2000
 
CAMEROON – Yaoundé
 
 
In Cameroon’s capital, the authorities have tried hard to make green spaces more attractive, particularly the Saint Anastasie wood. As can be seen in this photo, it’s popular with walkers.
 
Lucien Mintoe
  
THE NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam
 
 
I started these gardens eleven years ago as a way of pushing for more green spaces in Van Woustraat. It was previously just used by dogs to relieve themselves. Lots of people took part in the project, and today even bees come in search of flowers!

Herbert Curiel
  
Thank you to all our Observers and watch this space for our next survey !
 
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