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The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland accredited near Monrovia, Liberia, Amb. Neil Bradley along with his wife visited the offices of the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL) on September 23, 2020.
At SCNL, the Ambassador met with the Executive Director-Michael F. Garbo and senior staff of SCNL; also in attendance were Dr. Annika Hillers-Country Director of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation in Liberia and the EU-PAPFor Regional Coordination Team Head-Marc Languy.
To keep the Ambassador abreast of SCNL’s works, a presentation was made by SCNL’s Policy and Advocacy Officer-Abigail T. Gbessagee Hanky with focus on ongoing projects, key accomplishments and challenges.
The presentation was followed by an interactive discussion sparked up by Ambassador Bradley on conservation and biodiversity trends in Liberia, species population trends/statuses, SCNL community engagement techniques/strategies and combating illegal wildlife trade amongst others.
Ambassador Bradley also mentioned that his embassy is currently crafting their country implementation plan for Liberia and the information generated from the discussion will be very useful as it will inform priorities settings.
He expressed the need for more engagements and close collaborations to strengthen relationship between SCNL and the British Embassy in Liberia; he also encouraged Liberia to support the Green Pledge at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC in 2021 that the United Kingdom will play host to.
The GolaMA Forest area to support many globally threatened mammals, including Forest Elephant, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Jentink’s Duiker, Zebra Duiker, Liberian Mongoose, Diana Monkey, Sooty Mangabey, Western Red Colobus and Western Chimpanzee.
The forest communities in this area are among the poorest and most vulnerable in the country. Being remote from towns and other infrastructure, they are highly dependent on natural resources and have limited access to education, health and other social services. Agriculture, artisanal mining and bushmeat hunting provide the main sources of subsistence and income.
Liberia’s Upper Guinea forests are exceptionally diverse, with very high rates of endemism. The Gola National Forest, situated in north-west Liberia, is one of the largest remaining intact areas of seasonal dense moist evergreen and semi-deciduous forest in the whole region.