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Establishing a multilateral partnership agreement for the protection of Mount Nimba Biosphere Reserve

10 November 2023

With support from the PAPFor programme, the Mount Nimba Scientific Station, Bossou Environmental Research Institute and the Mount Nimba and Simandou Management Centre signed an agreement on 14 October 2023 to improve the management of the Mount Nimba Biosphere Reserve.
The agreement aims to address challenges in the Biosphere Reserve, where poaching, uncontrolled bushfires and increasing human activities on the reserve’s periphery are contributing to the site’s ecological isolation. The pressures are exacerbated by the fact that the buffer zone around the reserve is barely functional or non-existent.

In 1995, the Mount Nimba and Simandou Management Centre (CEGENS) was mandated by the government of Guinea to take up the direct management of the Biosphere Reserve, which included the oversight of mining activities, surveillance and community liaison. This led to a joint partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation (MESRSI) and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD), to establish and strengthen fruitful cooperation between Guinean research institutions and other ministries with similar missions.

The Biosphere Reserve has a mosaic of habitats consisting of lowland evergreen forest and high-altitude forest cover. It is rich in biodiversity with many endemic species. Despite increased investment in recent years, effective monitoring remains a challenge, as protecting the mountainous landscape is heavily dependent on contributions from international donors. Added to this is the lack of a joint-management system for the entire landscape and of a system for ecological monitoring system of key assets and for the documentation of findings. The absence of alternative income-generating activities for local communities further impedes conservation efforts.

The objectives of the multilateral agreement between the 3 bodies are to jointly commit to the sustainable management of natural resources, to research financing opportunities, and to document, plan, implement and monitor research programmes and projects on forest ecosystems.
Going forward, the three parties will draw up an annual work plan setting out the objectives to be achieved, the intervention strategy, the description of the activities, the material and human resources required, the implementation schedule, and the corresponding budget.