Lessons from Sierra Leone

I have been back from Sierra Leone for nine months now, working on the final report of our small mammal survey for NKUK. During our visit to Sierra Leone I had access to the internet only once at the very end in an internet cafĂ© in Freetown. Needless to say I did not post any “dispatches from the field” to this Blog and haven’t visited it since our return.

I am now in the process of converting the experiences from this and several previous expeditions to West Africa into my new course “Challenges and Issues in African Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development” which is to cover everything from nature preservation to community development to indigenous rights.

In find myself torn between the extremes of John Oates’ Myth and Reality in the African Rain Forest and Jim Igoe’s Conservation and Globalization: A Study of National Parks and Indigenous Communities. The course should convey these extremes and provide no perfect answers but lead to stimulating discussions and thought.

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