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Gola Rainforest Protection REDD+, Sierra Leone

Protecting one of the last forested biodiversity hotspots in Africa, the Upper Guinean Forest of West Africa

Project Type: Natural climate solutions, Forest conservation (REDD+)

Standards: CCB, VCS

  • Gola Rainforest REDD 1 Nancy Mansarray
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 2 Tree Canopy
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 3 Rangers
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 4 Ranger Mariama
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 5 Rangers
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 6 Ranger Training
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 7 Rangers in Brush
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 8 Local Children
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 9 Local Children
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 10 Chocolate Bars
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 11 Cocoa Farmer
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 12 Cocoa Farmer
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 13 Farmers
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 14 Local Woman
  • Gola Rainforest REDD 15 Hornbill Bird

With the help of carbon financing, the Gola Rainforest National Park was established to better protect the 70,000-hectare Park, the 70,000-hectare buffer zone, and the millions of tonnes of carbon that are locked within Gola’s trees and the earth below it. Gola’s previous Forest Reserve status did not prohibit small-scale logging operations, industrial and artisanal mining, and agricultural activities, and the forest area was under threat of rapid deforestation and degradation. This project is enabling local stakeholders (government, communities and national NGOs) to manage this entire landscape sustainably, to benefit local communities and wildlife. All the project’s efforts, from National Park Forest Guard employment opportunities to the establishment of a cocoa farmer’s co-operative, contribute to the rebuilding of lives after a decade of civil war and the recent Ebola outbreak.

Sierra Leone's tree cover has decreased 30% since 2000

Global Forest Watch Dashboard 2020
Sustainable Development Goals

In addition to delivering emissions reductions to take climate action (SDG 13), the project delivers additional benefits. The SDG contributions have been indicatively measured, but need to be confirmed:

  • No Poverty: Farming and community saving schemes impact over 24,000 local people across 122 communities. This project reintroduces sustainable cocoa production skills that were lost during the civil war and Ebola crisis.
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth: Carbon finance supports 160+ staff, the vast majority coming from forest edge communities, primarily through the Gola Rainforest National Park Forest Guard and sustainable cocoa production.
  • Life on Land: This REDD+ project protects habitat for 327 bird species, 650 endemic plant species, and 49 mammals, including the Pygmy Hippo and the Western Chimpanzee.

Read More information to find out how the project delivers other sustainable development benefits.

  • Good Health and Well-being: Carbon funds are financing access to basic healthcare, including a district clinic and medical support services for communities around the National Park.
  • Quality Education: Supporting rural education in the Forest’s impoverished communities through investment in schools and 700 annual secondary school scholarships, equally distributed to boys and girls.
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities: Making communities more resilient through education (thousands attending roadshows and listening to the Gola radio show) and support initiatives, generating and diversifying income and developing key infrastructure.
  • Life Below Water: Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards Gold for Biodiversity, protecting 31 fish species, 35% of which are endemic to the region.
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