Conservation in Sierra Leone

PouringLibation.jpgNo further word or contract from London yet. As usual these expeditions crunch on their starting deadlines. No matter how long term things are planned the actual implementation with visas and equipment orders always gets under time pressure.

This morning I read the chapter on Tiwai, the monkey sanctuary on a large island in the Moa River, southwestern Sierra Leone, in “Myth and Reality in the African Rainforest” (Oates 1999). What a sobering account of one hopeful “community based conservation project” initiated by Oates and others in 1981. But John Oates does not just blame the competing local factions and the growing political disorder in the country after 1991, but also “the tendency [of foreign planners] to design conservation plans likely to provide significant future benefits to themselves or their own organizations…”(Oates 1999:93).

The image above illustrates an example of traditional protection: Adumanya Sacred Grove in Ghana.


Oates, J. F. 1999. Myth and reality in the rainforest: how conservation strategies are failing in West Africa. Berkeley: University of California Press. xxviii+310 p.

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