|Town/Region||East Nimba Nature Reserve|
|Date||26 Mar 2008|
The East Nimba Nature Reserve (ENNR) is one of the two protected areas in the Country. However, there is growing concern about human pressure, especially extraction of variety of forest products including timber, wildlife, and non-timber forest products, on the ENNR. These activities are impacting on the conservation and ecological integrity of the Reserve. SADS have worked in the ENNR region since 2006 providing basic services including hygiene and sanitation education, construction of hand-pumps and latrines with support from the Liberian Conservation Action Fund through Conservation International. This intervention was designed to provide tangible social services to communities in the area to secure their support for conservation. However, based on the findings of our internal project evaluation, youths now pose the most serious threats to the reserve. They are engaged in hunting, pit-sawing, illicit mining and the extraction of NTFP primarily to support their lifestyles.
This project has therefore evolved out of internal SADS assessments and evaluation of the situation and will focus on conservation and environmental education and outreach program focusing specifically on the youths. SADS will design and implement a conservation and environmental education outreach program for youths. A key strategy for the outreach will be the use of traditional communication media, including song and dances, and Open Theatres. During the open theatres, for example, participants will be challenged to identify and discuss the importance of natural resource conservation and sustainable use for secured livelihoods, improved rural health and opportunities for sustainable income generation. These activities will be designed to integrate other popular youth recreational activities including sports, drama and traditional dances. The overarching message or theme of the outreach will be “Conserve Today for Tomorrow’s Generation”. This will challenge youths to behave in environmentally healthy and responsible manners. Education of the Liberian youth is an integral part of ensuring long term sustainability of the management of Liberia’s natural resources. The youths, if not properly educated about these issues; they will continue to engage in extraction activities and practices that threaten the natural resource base. SADS aims to ensure the adaptation of good practices, which will influence behavioural changes in favour of conservation. The basic information of forest and wildlife conservation skills and good environmental messages and practices will be shared by participants. The project activities are environmental and conservation awareness; establish environmental conservation day and introduce agro forestry.
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