Conservation International, communities unite to protect coastal ecosystem in Bassa
Conservation International – Liberia (CI-L) in collaboration with local partners has signed three agreements that are intended to serve as community incentives to protect and sustainably manage natural capital in coastal ecosystems in Barcoline community, Grand Bassa County.
A release from CI-Liberia says the agreements was signed recently between representatives of Conservation International and leaders of three Barcoline towns namely; Bleewein, Sarwein and Nyangba affixing their signatures to consummate the deal which will, among other things, protect the vast Mangrove vegetation in the areas as well as sea turtles and their nesting.
Through the Natural Capital Accounting Project (NCA), the conservation agreement is a model ecosystem-management approach that includes resource users in the management of natural resources.
The release says the agreement seeks to protect and sustainably manage mangrove and coastal forest ecosystems surrounding Barcoline community, by reducing forest cover loss and threat to marine species (sea turtles).
It will also provide sustainable improved livelihood options for the communities in return for verified conservation action.
Under the agreement, CI-L is expected to deliver a package of social benefits as an incentive to boost commitment of participating communities. By this, CI-L will provide tangible items including sustainable fishing gears, farming tools and village saving loans, among other essential benefits to the communities.
Former hunters will also receive training to become frontline conservationists with opportunity to receive a monthly salary.
The current agreements with the three local communities date back to April 2021. Having recognized the importance of the mangrove and coastal ecosystems of Barcoline, CI-L with funding from Global Environment Facility (GEF), through the Natural Capital Accounting Project, conducted feasibility assessment with three communities to assess the viability of renewing conservation agreements with the targeted areas.
During the design and negotiation of the Conservation Agreement, according to CI-L, the organization’s principle of Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC) were applied, and as such, the need to fully implement the agreement amidst efforts to protect biodiversity was strongly emphasized by Mr. Peter G. Mulbah, Country Director, CI-Liberia.
“Conservation agreements cannot solve all of your problems in the community, what it does is that it further motivates you and gives you additional tools that can help you manage, monitor and improve your livelihood,” Mr. Mulbah remarks.
He notes that the activities as enshrined in the agreement vary from community to community, emphasizing that the various initiatives are what members of the communities decided upon to support conservation.
“It means that you have expressed the willingness to support conservation within your communities and we are now looking up to you to turn that commitment and willingness into action and that action will be demonstrated through the implementation of these activities,” Mulbah emphasizes.
He calls for the inclusion of all, particularly women in the process, believing that the addition of more women will help enhance the implementation of the agreement, protect the village saving loan as well as the generation of ideas that will make the process more effective.
Earlier, NCA Project Manager/CI-Liberia, Emmanuel T. Olatunji who provided an overview of the Conservation Agreement encouraged community members to own the process and emphasized that CI-L remains committed to reaching its part of the barging.
He says the NCA project which runs for five years will witness the signing of additional Conservation Agreements with the various communities every year, emphasizing, however, the need for community ledgers to ensure that they comply fully with their portion of the agreement.
Having signed previous Conservation Agreements with towns in the Barcoline community, the locals themselves have spoken kindly about how effective the interventions of CI-L have helped to elevate the benefits and importance of conservation within their communities.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/western-chimpanzees-conservation-action-plan-launched-in-monrovia/ Press Release