The Conservation Works (CW) activity is a five year program funded by the United States Agency for International Development designed to protect threatened and endangered species by strengthening Protected and Conserved Areas while promoting economic growth in Liberia. CW supports communities in becoming less reliant on forest resources by providing livelihood alternatives, including sustainable agriculture and ecotourism. CW works closely with the Government of Liberia, private sector partners, and local conservation stakeholders and communities.
Liberia is home to nearly half of the remaining Upper Guinean Rainforest, a key biodiversity hotspot housing myriad endangered species. Thousands of Liberians rely on these 6.6 million hectares of forest for their livelihood. Although Liberia’s forests are invaluable, they have not been sustainably managed, and continue to face mounting pressures including slash-and-burn agriculture, logging, mining, and illegal hunting.
Protected and Conserved Areas (PCAs) provide critical habitat for wildlife and have great potential for ecotourism, a proven source of sustainable income for communities. Despite signiﬁcant international donor support for forest conservation in Liberia, only ﬁve protected areas currently exist. The establishment and effective management of PCAs simultaneously allows for biodiversity preservation, sustainable livelihoods and economic growth.
CW will improve the livelihoods of communities living in and around PCAs and promote economic growth via conservation-compatible investment and ecotourism. Conservation Works is implemented by EcoHealth Alliance in partnership with Fauna & Flora International, Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection, Partners in Development, and Solimar International. The team works in close collaboration with Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority (FDA). Operating in the Proposed Protected Areas of Grand Kru-River Gee, Cestos-Senkwehen, and Krahn-Bassa, as well as Sapo National Park, Marshall Wetlands and East Nimba Nature Reserve, CW will support the establishment and expansion of new PCAs.
Our strategic approaches to implementing Conservation Works are broken down into five key areas, listed below:
1. Harmonize Establishment Process of PCAs
Define and implement an accessible, transparent process to designate new conservation areas in Liberia that harmonizes government mandates and laws and considers community rights and voices
2. Strengthen Management of PCAs
Build government and community capacity to protect and manage PCA landscapes
3. Develop, Establish and Facilitate Sustainable Livelihoods
Introduce inclusive, sustainable livelihoods and long-term income generating activities to improve the economic wellbeing of communities in and around PCAs
4. Develop Sustainable Tourism Infrastructure and Capacity Support
Support the creation of an enabling environment for sustainable tourism development and investment, and build capacity of local communities to participate in this market
5. Integration of the One Health Principle
Broaden recognition of the value of PCAs through facilitation of multi-sectoral coordination and information sharing
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