Stretching a mile high, Mount Nimba lies at the intersection of Liberia, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. For 40 kilometers (25 miles), the Nimba Mountain range alternates between forests, savannas, rivers and grassy pastures that support hundreds of species. The area also supplies fresh water, food and wood for fuel to the 500,000 people living in Nimba County.
It also holds substantial mineral wealth — and we don’t have to sacrifice nature to reap the benefits of this wealth. If carried out in harmony with conservation activities, mining in the Nimba Mountain range could provide the economic boost needed to propel Liberia toward prosperity.
Conservation International is working with steel giant ArcelorMittal to make sure that local communities share the economic benefits of mining activities and are also empowered to protect the natural resources they rely on. Through conservation agreements, we are engaging local communities to protect nature — and improve livelihoods for local people — around the East Nimba Nature Reserve.
Know the context
We have compiled critical biological and socioeconomic information about each of the communities we work with, learning how residents interact with nature, defining the potential conservation activities communities can undertake and identifying potential alternative livelihood investments.
Work from the ground up
The conservation agreements undertaken with local communities form the basis for community participation in co-managing the East Nimba Nature Reserve with the Forest Development Authority.
Look at the big picture
We work beyond the borders of protected areas to include areas of production by communities and the private sector. Conservation International is working to develop conservation agreements with local communities as a way to protect important habitat and promote sustainable jobs. We are working with local government to incorporate this program into the Nimba development agenda as a model for sustainable development across Liberia.
By the numbers
We are working with 15,000 people across three districts to implement conservation agreements that provide job opportunities, education and access to sustainable farming techniques.