From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, STEWARD/ MRU partner to protect Upper Guinea forest
By Augustine Samba
Jul 2, 2010, 17:14

To enhance the protection of the upper Guinea forest, the Sustainable and Thriving Environment for West Africa Regional Development (STEWARD) in collaboration with the Mano River Union and the Government of Sierra Leone are now working on plans to promote biodiversity conservation, peace building, knowledge sharing, policy harmonization and sustainable livelihood in the West Africa trans boundary protected areas of the upper Guinea forest ecosystem.

This was disclosed to the press at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Agriculture, Youyi Building in Freetown on Thursday 1 2010.

STEWARD representative, Mr. Higgs said through collaborative agreements with MRU secretariat, the GOSLís forestry division and the STEWARD program are developing eight sustainable forest management planning (SFMP) in eight newly conceived community forests in the proposed trans boundary peace park between Sierra Leone and Guinea frontier which comprises outamba-Kilimi national park and Kuru Hills with the prefectures of Madina Oula, Oureís Kaba and Soga.

He said they had concluded a field training workshops at the Outamba-Kilimi National Park priority zone with 8 trainees facilitated by both Sierra Leonean and Guinean forestry and natural resources managers in order to strengthen the early stages of the ongoing process of drafting the SFMP. He said the objectives of the training were to create the understanding of opportunities of the SFMP amongst communities in that area.

He also informed that the community forests were created in 2010, and that the selection criteria included the communal motivation and commitment to forest conservation and the existence of important biodiversity resources and remaining pockets of mature tropical hardwood forests.

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