Home / News / Major renovation is completed at rangers’ base camp for Mount Nimba, (...)

Major renovation is completed at rangers’ base camp for Mount Nimba, Guinea

7 March 2024

As part of the development of protected forests, the European Union-funded Support Programme for the Preservation of Forest Ecosystems in West Africa (PAPFor) project has completed and renovated the base camp for conservation agents working in the Nimba Mountains in Gbakoré, Guinea. The work began in May 2023 and the base is now ready for use. The official handover of the refurbished base took place in November 2023 and was attended by project partners and stakeholders working in the Mount Nimba landscape, including the Guinean mining company Société des Mines de Fer de Guinée, the Centre for Environmental Management of Mount Nimba (CEGENS), which coordinates the rangers, the Bossou Environmental Research Institute, the Mount Nimba Scientific Station, mayors, rural community heads and village surveillance committees.

The new base is located in the buffer zone of the Nimba Mountains Biosphere Reserve in Gbakoré, 2 km from the city centre and 4 km from the central reserve area.

The base camp constitutes several buildings, some of which were only at the foundation stage before PAPFor’s intervention. The works thus involved the renovation of the wash block, the generator shelter, the administrative office, accommodation for the park manager and deputy park manager, and complete installation of the electricity and sewage networks.

CEGENS’ data found that around half of the Mount Nimba conservation officers are housed a long way from the base, which can present a challenge in terms of organisational and operational capacity, thereby reducing the performance and quality of the services provided. “This refurbishment will enable conservators to be closer to their work site and management to have control over the work carried out," said UNOPS supervising engineer Paul Haba.

On behalf of all the rangers, Colonel Oua Justin BILIVOGUI, Director General of CEGENS, concluded the ceremony and reiterated the rangers’ gratitude. "The rangers fully appreciate the level of collaboration between CEGENS and UNOPS within the framework of the implementation and support for the preservation of the Nimba Mountains Biosphere Reserve." He also expressed thanks and appreciation to EU-PAPFor for renovating the office and completing the accommodation to enhance working conditions. The rangers have additionally requested the construction of a water tower, acquisition of a high-powered generator and the creation of a reinforced warden section (15 officers).

The stakeholders also expressed their appreciation to the PAPFor programme for the adequate funding of activities to preserve the Nimba landscape and conserve the ‘outstanding universal value’ of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.