This is a very interesting story narrated by the responsibilities and decisions of two people. The first, Amadou Diarra is an agent for the Service des Eaux et Forests (Forest Service).
His job as an agent was to manage the nation’s forests and enforcing the forest protection laws. While enforcing these laws he could either make a tribe / person pay the fine or take a bribe.
The next key person is the chief of Sogolonbougou, Djokolo Coulibaly. He also was in a very tough situation. He had to someway figure out how to manage the land available to the village to produce enough crop to keep the villagers fed. In doing so he sometimes had to break some forest service regulations to reach the villages harvest goals, which in return could greatly hurt the tribe if they get caught breaking the laws. Burning of the forest was most commonly the law that the village would break and be fined for. When caught by the authorities the village could either pay roughly $150, the chief could be jailed, or the authorities (Diarra) could be bribed.
Since the average income for a Malian was $260, paying the fine would greatly hurt the tribe, sending the chief to jail is out of the question, and in this situation the authorities won’t take a bribe. This is a very bad situation from the start. Almost every aspect of this situation is bad. The people are poor, the land is of poor quality, and production of foods and materials is getting tougher and tougher. What are the people of Sogolonbougou to do? They are simply trying to raise enough crop to keep from starving and the Forest Service keeps bothering them? Whats the Forest Service to do? They are simply trying to keep environmentally healthy by setting a few laws and regulating them? These are the questions that need to be answered to solve the conflict between the Forest Service and Sogolonbougou. In my opinion, I realize that it must be tough on the chief of Sogolonbougou to have to try to keep a village up and running.
... try to find a way around the situation by starting these bush fires ... a fine on chief Coulibaly. Chief Coulibaly and the village had never had a very good relationship with the forest service. The village farmers would ... had to do his job and enforce the forestry laws. If the laws were not enforced then whole ecosystems would be ...
But as a chief he needs to find other ways to do things. Instead of trying to clear more land maybe he needs to use the land he has more efficiently. For the forest service they do have to enforce the laws they set. But I feel the leaders of both groups need to put their heads together and find a better solution. It seems rather stupid for both groups to be clashing year after year.
A possible solution I came up with is to set burning regulations. Somehow come up with a time of year and how many acres at a time a certain village could burn to adequately produce enough crop and still help save the forests environmental stability.