Forest Reserve in Sierra Leone

Ecotourism Opportunities In Protected Areas in Sierra Leone

Here are three questions before you start reading:

1. How many members of the public and relevant civil society organizations in Sierra Leone know that as of 2002 – which was the year the war ended – the country has had 38 forest reserves, 2 game sanctuaries, 7 national parks, 4 non-hunting reserves, 9 strict nature reserves, and 1 wetland of international importance?

2. How many know that the most prominent arena of corruption in Sierra Leone is in the land sector?

3. How many people have a rough idea of what is “in” the land, “on” the land, and “above” the land in Sierra Leone and what values the rest of the world attach to them?

How many people know that the term “LAND” as used by technocrats in this sense includes all living things depending on it, all rivers, mountains, forests, grasslands, seas, and naturally occurring resources found in them?

These include mineral deposits, forests, fish stocks, atmospheric quality, geostationary orbits, and portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, oxygen spaces, carbon footprints, airspace, among others?

From the narrow lens of the Forest/Tourism sectors, here is a list of Protected Areas in Sierra Leone reviewed in 2002 by the World Conservation Monitoring Center in collaboration the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

I. FOREST RESERVES

NAME/AREA PER KM²

1. Bojeni Hills 7.38
2. Dodo Hills 21.8
3. Fabina 3.82
4. Farangbaia 12.60
5. Freetown Water Works 11.34
6. Gboi Hills 2.07
7. Gola East 228.00
8. Gola West 62.00
9. Golamo South 11.60
10. Gori Hills 79.40
11. John Obey 2.07
12. Kambui Hills 143.35
13. Kambui North 203.48
14. Kambui South 8.80
15. Kandesuri 59.57
16. Kasewe 12.24
17. Kent Extension 6.44
18. Kuru Hills 69.93
19. Lalay 4.76
20. Leicester Peak 0.52
21. Lhei Hills 1.55
22. Malal Hills 3.39
23. Matete 8.50
24. Moku Hills 1.46
25. Moyamba Hills 1.89
26. Nimini South 25.90
27. No. 2 River 6.99
28. Okra Hills 2.48
29. Peninsula 178.00
30. Port Loko 2.16
31. Singamba 2.99
32. Sipende 8.29
33. Tabe 3.25
34. Tama 170.00
35. Tobi 16.71
36. Tonkoli 71.04
37. Wara Wara Hills 10.41
38. Waterloo 0.85

II. GAME SANCTUARIES

NAME/AREA (KM²)

1. Bo Plains 25.90
2. Tiwai Island 12.00

III. NATIONAL PARKS

NAME/AREA (KM²)

1. Gola Rainforest National Park 710.70
2. Kuru Hills 69.93
3. Lake Mape/Mabesi 75.11
4. Lake Sonfon 51.80
5. Loma Mountains 332.01
6. Outamba-Kilimi 808.13
7. Western Area 176.88

IV. NON-HUNTING RESERVES

NAME/AREA (KM²)

1. Kangari Hills 85.73
2. Loma Mountains 332.01
3. Tingi Hills (Sankan Biriwa) 118.85
4. Western Area 176.88

V. STRICT NATURE RESERVES

NAME/AREA (KM²)

1. Bonthe Mangrove Swamp 998.54
2. Gola (West) Forest 62.00
3. Gola North 40.00
4. Mamunta-Mayoso Sanctuary 20.72
5. Mogbai (Gola North)
6. Port Loko Plains 25.90
7. Sulima Mangrove Swamp 25.90
8. Wemago (Gola East) 35.00
9. Yelibuya Island 38.85

VI. WETLANDS OF INTERNATIONAL IMPORTANCE

NAME/AREA (KM²)

1. Sierra Leone River Estuary 2950.00

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Source:
World Database on Protected Areas (2002)
United Nations Environment Program/World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Editor’s Note:  This story is from the Facebook page of Sidie Sheriff, a reputable Social Scientist with a razor sharp mind for analyzing contemporary social and economic issues with stints of historical perspectives on social media.