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UNDP-GEF Project Multi-Focal Area for the Sustainable Management of Sierra Leone's Natural Assets

On the one hand, the Peninsula is the piece of land where the country's capital Freetown, and several other other urban areas, are located and slowly sprawling. On the other, it has 40% of its surface covered by forest and the presence of wild chimps has been reported. Adjacent areas to the Western Area Peninsula include vast mangroves, considered wetlands of international importance, constituting a Ramsar site, which sustain the livelihoods of several coastal communities. 

Declining trends have been largely reported across various ecosystems in Sierra Leone, with emphasis on forest cover, marine and coastal ecosystems, as well as brackish and freshwater biodiversity.

A new UNDP-GEF Project is being proposed with a view towards promoting the sustainable management of Sierra Leone's natural assets. It will apply a mix of instruments such as mainstreaming biodiversity, improving policies and practices, and integrating the management of forests, coastal and mangrove areas into the development of local economy in a sustainable manner.

In Sierra Leone, over the years Man have engaged in harmful environmental practices like sand and aggregate stone mining, land reclamation, water pollution, use of wrong fishing nets, deforestation of forest reserves, slash and burn farming practices. The implications of biodiversity loss for a developing country like Sierra Leone can be considerable and wide ranging.

Sierra Leone relies heavily on her natural resources derived from agriculture, forestry, ecotourism and mining. About 80% of the population is rural and depend heavily on biodiversity resources for their food, fibre, medicine, income and well being. These resources are dwindling and there is an urgent need for careful their stewardship and management.

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