Gola National Park
– The Gola National Park in Liberia: realizing its vast potential
Year: 2013 – 2015
The Upper Guinea Forest Eco-region, which extends from Togo to Guinea is one of the world’s priority biodiversity conservation areas due to its high degree of species endemism, and the key ecological functions it provides to sustain the life and livelihoods of millions of West Africans. However, centuries of human activity have resulted in a loss of 70% of the original forest cover. The remaining 420,000 km2 is spread over six countries and highly fragmented, restricting habitats to isolated patches and threatening unique species of flora and fauna. Liberia and Sierra Leone contain the largest intact forests in the region.
‘The Across the River Trans-boundary Peace Park for Liberia and Sierra Leone’project is working to link the Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone with the Gola National Forest in Liberia. It will connect them by corridor areas and create a sustainably managed protected area of over 200,000 hectares for the conservation of unique wildlife and biodiversity and eco-system services while ensuring the livelihood of the forest edge communities who depend on forest resources for their survival and economic development. This project was launched in May 2009 by the Presidents of both Liberia and Sierra Leone at a high profile event in Lelhun, Sierra Leone. The Peace Park project is working to develop and implement a trans-boundary conservation model that will ensure cross-border collaboration and guarantee the long term survival of this key part of the Upper Guinea Forest Eco-region through the engagement of local communities and civil society in the active conservation of the forests.
To facilitate the establishment of the Gola National Park in Liberia and support communities to sustainably manage forest resources to maximize benefits to them whilst protecting globally threatened endemic wildlife.