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Artisanal mining inside Protected Area

Mining for mineral resources (mainly iron ore, gold and diamond)is a major government income earner for both Liberia and Sier-ra Leone. Gola Forest is known to be occupied with deposits of these minerals. Mining is therefore one of the major sources of threat for biodiversity conservation and fo-rest resources management in the Gola Landscape. It has remained one of the frontline issues of conflict betweeen protected area management, communi-ties, forest anagement institutions and civil so-ciety organisations.

Although the Law of Liberia disallowed mining ac-tivities in Protected areas, lack of law enforcement makes it difficult to control the small scale artisanal mining in the core of the National Parks, most espe-cially in Liberia. Industrial ining groups have esta-blished camps close to the boundary of the National Parks, posing threat to wildlife populations and impac-ting negatively on vegetation.