As described so eloquently here by the mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, the loss of forest due to the impact of climate change is about much more than the loss of beauty and shade. Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is leading her city's efforts to make Freetown a tree town by planting one million trees in two years, increasing the vegetation cover by 50%. The goal is to reduce the risk of landslides and flooding and to reintroduce biodiversity. Loss of forest is about the loss of ability to live and Freetown is on its way to insuring the ability of all of its residents to live.


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  • Charlotte Coachman

    Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is a beautiful and very articulate spokesperson. What a great job of organizing and orchestrating the planting of 1 million trees. Yes, it is a tiny step in ecology but with great benefits for the people of Sierra Leone. Well done.

  • Susan

    Mayor Yvonne is an inspiration to watch and listen to. She made the whole reforestation initiative seem so easy. When you break it down, this effort has many moving parts all of which that had to be delegated. Great team effort by the citizens of Freetown.

  • Mary D'Souza

    Congratulations Please consider the Miyawaki approach to reforestation. It is simple. Watch Ted Talk by Shubendu Sharma I can send a video on our experience

  • Ginny

    What inspired you about this video - and yes I said. Yes, yes, yes..

  • Ginny

    This was absolute mesmerizing!

  • Kay

    Inspiring! If all mayors thought like this!

  • Roger

    What inspired you about this video This amazing woman leading the charge for change and the powerful demonstration that one town with a collection of willing residents can do to make a difference and show others a way forward - this what Living Values is all about-GO Sierra Leone

  • Ruth

    An excellent goal and inspiring example of how to lead. Glad to hear they nursed 15 different species and asked citizens to commit to being tree stewards.

  • Suzanne

    Congratulations to Mayor Yvonne for a wonderful initiative, Australia should be doing the same because we also experience severe weather events. Unfortunately our Politicians aren’t listening to the people or scientists .

  • Chris

    Mayor Yvonne demonstrates the application of leadership to a local problem can also result in local environmental solutions. Regulating developers would also be a good idea in this case.

  • Maureen

    Mayor Yvonne's clear vision based on science is inspiring, and her understanding of whole systems is admirable as shown by how she has designed the response to such a complex situation to include her citizens as part of the solution...three cheers

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  • Learn more about Freetown's plan to increase vegetation cover in two years. 
  • Take action on climate change at Countdown - a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis.
  • In your own yard or place of work, or as part of a community initiative, work on planting one or more trees in your neighborhood.

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