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Building on over 12 years of Transboundary collaboration in PAPFor-supported Gola Landscape shared between Sierra Leone and Liberia.
From conversation to conservation : on 11 May, officials from Sierra Leone and Liberia met together at Libassa Ecolodge as part of joint efforts to conserve the Gola Landscape as a true Transboundary Conservation Area.
The meeting was attended by staff from both the Headquarters (Freetown and Monrovia) and the Protected Areas, as well as with field project staff. The meeting was facilitated by the RSPB and was also attended by the PAPFor Regional Coordinator.
The meeting has been very successful and agreed on concrete steps to fight cross-border wildlife trafficking, promote effective Land Use Planning and support sustainable livelihood that are compatible with maintaining forest cover.
The meeting also discussed issues including the overall objectives and purpose of the Transboundary Sub Committee, building on the MOU between the two countries. Other pertinent issues discussed centred on Law Enforcement (planning and implementation) of transboundary patrols.
This was annexed by the two technical sessions, on legal issues, solutions and enabling framework, communication and integration of security agencies, conduct and training for rangers within the context of transboundary patrols and the need for public education and awareness regarding the importance of Transboundary cooperation and joint patrols.
The second technical session addressed the need for broader institutional cooperation, available data within each of the countries and the focal points to support the Landscape Land Use Plan.
The stakeholders also deliberated on the issue of peace and security within the Transboundary Landscape and the unavoidable need to ensure the availability of livelihoods for the people living within the proximity of the transboundary.