Promises RSPB’s Commitment To Keep Working With SCNL For The Continuous Growth Of The Organization
It was a time of reflection, interaction, appreciation, honoring, and knowledge sharing when Dr. Dieter Hoffmann, Head of the Global Land Department at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) recently visited the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL). The welfare visit comes just when Dr. Hoffmann’s retirement draws closer. Working for RSPB since 1996, and responsible for the organization’s work outside of Europe, the well-experienced conservationist chose to visit Gola-Liberia to explore ways of making SCNL viable in the sector where she will take lead on conservation-related issues in Liberia.
Accompanied by Richard Dixon, Head of Gola, RSPB, Dr. Hoffmann was received by SCNL Executive Director, Mr. Michael F. Garbo at the Liberian-Sierra Leonean Border, and along, with SCNL James P. Mulbah, the guests were escorted to the Camp Israel Community, Grand Cape Mount County to see ‘first hand’ the amazing Elephant Falls situated within the rich Gola Forest National Park (GFNP). The community dwellers cheerfully welcomed the guests with Kola nuts and appreciated RSPB and SCNL’s contributions. The enthusiastic villagers toured with the senior RSPB staff around the Elephant Falls, and through knowledge-sharing exchanges, Mr. Garbo briefed Dr. Hoffmann about the GFNP and the Elephant Falls. Dr. Hoffmann also visited the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), met with the Managing Director, Mr. Mike C. Doryen, and later met with the British Ambassador to Liberia, Neil Bradley.
At the offices of SCNL, Dr. Hoffmann was courteously welcomed by SCNL’s staff. Mr. Michael E. Taire, SCNL Program Manager briefed the guests about SCNL’s conservational works and he was gowned traditionally. Making remarks, Mr. Garbo said it was an honor for Dr. Hoffmann to have visited SCNL, and considers the visit ‘the best day’ for SCNL. The Executive Director reminded Dr. Hoffmann that SCNL is helping to conserve nature, and with support from RSPB, and other partners, the organization is determined to keep working for the conservation of nature. “It is an honor, Dr. Hoffmann, to visit us from RSPB. Having [our staff and partners] in this meeting, we are very much happy. The growth in SCNL today could not have been measured without you and the strong RSPB and BirdLife Partnership along with the institutional support we continue to receive annually. Thank you! We are glad to have you here,” he shared.
Mr. Garbo further said SCNL is educating the public to understand the need to conserve nature and effective management of biodiversity. “Our focus is on nature conservation, and with communities to enhance biodiversity. Conservation is our dream, and we stand for it…We are counting on our members to find the best strategy that within five years from now, SCNL can manage its staff for the next two or three years,” he pointed out.
Making a special remark, Dr. Hoffmann appreciated SCNL for the warmest welcome and said he was absolutely glad for the visit. “It is great to see such a great organization and to see you all here. This is my second time in Liberia, but I am not only happy to see you, but I am so impressed by the nature you have. I have been working in many countries around the world, but the Elephant Falls is an amazing site. I am pleased to see what you’re doing, SCNL you said was established in 1986, it is a very big organization, and you’re doing well. We can do everything to protect birds in Europe, but the process will not be complete if we don’t work together across. So, whatever we do in the UK, if the condition isn’t favorable in West Africa, then the species will still continue to decline. And that is why we are working in Africa since the mid-80s”.
Dr. Hoffmann said the Gola Forest will always be an important component of RSPB, but the main aim is to help make SCNL a strongly independent nature conservation organization. “That’s our top aim… the main aspects of a successful conservation organization are good governance, good financial management system, unrestricted income, marketing, and fundraising. RSPB will continue to support SCNL with fundraising; we want to be a critical friend to you, help you in all parts of your organization, and work with you to grow into a strong organization,” he added.
RSPB is a UK-Based Partner for the BirdLife International. RSPB is managing more than 220 nature reserves across the UK, with thousands of staff, and has an income of 140 million pounds per year, and three-quarters of said income is coming from dedicated members that’s according to Dr. Hoffman.