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Western Africa Medium Grant

Securing the future of Kambui Hills, Sierra Leone

Terrestrial protected area Indigenous and Community Conserved Area (ICCA) Key biodiversity area
Governance Management effectiveness Livelihoods
Local communities Indigeous people
399,845.09 EUR Sierra Leone, Western Africa September 01, 2020 - August 31, 2021

Protected and conserved area(s) concerned

Kambui Hills and Extensions Forest Reserve 303925; Kambui South Forest Reserve 29972

Diagnostic tools used

National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan https://www.cbd.int/doc/world/sl/sl-nbsap-v2-en.pdf

The BIOPAMA AC Objectives addressed

  • Enhance the management and governance of priority protected areas by addressing existing limitations;
  • Support local communities’ initiatives aiming to enhance the livelihoods of local people whilst effectively contributing to protected areas management.

Priority needs addressed

The priority need of the project is to deliver a well-managed forest reserve, clearly demarcated and highly visible and known and appreciated by local communities, The reserve should help conserve ecosystems and maintain a rich biodiversity. It should provide ecosystem services for both humans and biodiversity and help to combat climate change. The Kambui Hills Forest Reserve forest should be co-managed by the government and the communities.

Project activities

Several years of neglect in terms of management has resulted in increased illegal and damaging human activities within the reserve. Large areas have been encroached upon and degraded through activities like chain saw logging, charcoal harvesting, mining, slash and burn farming and settlement development and hunting. The unclear boundary creates ambiguity as to where the reserve ends and where the salvage lands begin.

To reveres this situation a robust awareness campaign about the reserve, its purpose and its usefulness will be undertaken with the aim of getting the communities to subscribe to and support its conservation. The campaign will also popularize the laws governing the reserve. The ill-defined and ambiguous boundaries which rationalise encroachment will be made clearly visible through brushing of the border, beacon erection, sign posting and establishment of a buffer zone. The degraded areas will be rehabilitated.

Damage is done to the reserve as forest edge communities utilize forest resources to finance a living. The project will create opportunities for alternative livelihoods. Alternative livelihoods will divert human activities away from the reserve into the salvage lands and so reduce pressure on the former.

A management plan and local bye laws will be created in consultation with the communities and the project will obtain an agreement between all focal communities, and the National Protected Area Authority /Forestry Department, and the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone to adhere to Forest protection laws. To ensure that all parties keep to the agreements a task force who will oversee and monitor events within the forest be instituted.  A reserve governance structure will also be established.

The project will also contribute to the alleviation of poverty which is so high in the region, by establishing a loan scheme and promoting tourism.

The change the project implementation will bring for the protected area(s)

The project will deliver a reserve with visible and well demarcated boundary known to all stake holders, and with a buffer zone around the perimeter. Stakeholders will be aware of governmental laws and regulations governing the reserve; and the reserve will be benefitting from people’s improved attitude towards it. An agreement between forest edge communities on one hand and NPAA/FD, Kenema DC and CSSL on the other, to adhere to Forest protection laws will be in place. There will be increased support of the stakeholders for the protection of the reserve. The establishment of alternative livelihoods will redirect the activities of the communities to areas outside the forest and positively influence their economic capacity. A well trained task force will overlook the benefit sharing scheme which would have been established. Most of the degraded areas within the reserve would be rehabilitated.

A popularised Governance structure will exist. The FMCs and FD staff will have greater capacity to undertake forest management as a result of training

Community members have appropriate opportunities to participate in management planning, processes and actions in collaboration with the NPAA and the department of forestry. Thus the project will leave behind a well-managed functional reserve, with highly protected rich biodiversity, and maintained ecosystem, with the species richness and diversity maintained or improved. It will provide an opportunity for threatened species to thrive again. Negative human activities will be minimal.

Download the project infofiche.

Implementing organisations

The conservation society – Sierra Leone

Photo credits: George Ganda; Patrick Dauda

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