With some serious trepidation I have decided to go to Sierra Leone this summer. I will be researching the three-fold interface of local communities, wildlife and tourists, assessing their overlapping use of forest resources and deciphering the costs and benefits to each of them. Currently, I am half way through the taught section of an MSc in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University. In April, myself and three other students are travelling to Outamba-Kilimi National Park in the north of Sierra Leone, West Africa, to conduct our research, the final section of our masters. In 1982 the IUCN affirmed that the tourist potential of an area is an important factor in the selection of protected areas, but how do the local people manage this? And does this affect the biodiversity of the area contrary to state-led protection? Our research has the potential to improve the local livelihoods of some of the poorest communities in the world, and protect the natural resources they rely on, whilst also creating a sustainable management system for the conservation of these areas. This requires the support of our friends, families, and other like-minded people. For three months we will live amongst the communities collecting data for our theses. We hope this will not be the end of our research as none of us want to go just to get a grade at university, but truly because we really do care. Unfortunately, this project needs money and this is how you can help us…
I have broken down the costs of the research trip and will explain them in a post below.
An important aspect is outreach - sharing this page will enable us to raise money, and more importantly raise awareness of the research we are conducting.
If anybody knows companies who would be willing to support this cause monatarily or otherwise please pass on my contact details - [email redacted]
- or let me know theirs.
Check out the project - https://panverus.org/