Senate Vote to Establish Grebo-Krahn National Park
Monrovia – House of Senate of the Liberian Legislature has passed a law establishing the Grebo-Krahn National Park.
Report by Henry Karmo – [email protected]
The law was passed by the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and Fisheries review of the Act to establish the Park followed by consultative stakeholders meetings.
Part of the committee’s findings calls for the management of the Park, whose protected areas, which are largely natural or near natural areas set aside for the protection of large-scale ecological processes along with the completion of species and ecosystem characteristic of the area, which provide a foundation for environmentally and culturally compatible spiritual scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities.
In the committee report, chaired by Senator Morris Saytumah, the park shall a permanent component of the protected area network, managed in accordance with the laws of Liberia and international best practices governing conversation of National resources and subject to such rules and regulations as may from time to time be transparently promulgated by the authority to accomplish the management objective to protect the natural ecosystem of the Grebo-Krahn National Park, and promote sustainable use of natural resources in the boundaries as shall be demarcated for the national park.
About the park
Research conducted by international groupings shows that Spanning across the Côte d’Ivoire and Liberian border, the Taï-Grebo-Sapo Forest Complex forms part of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots and is extremely important for the conservation of numerous endangered species, most notably the rare and endangered Western chimpanzee, forest elephant, and pygmy hippopotamus.
Both countries have come together in recent years to collaborate for the protection and sustainable management of the largest remaining contiguous block of tropical rainforest within the Upper Guinean Forest Ecosystem.
In Liberia, the complex consists of Sapo National Park, Proposed Grebo-Krahn National Park and a potential ecological corridor connecting the two protected areas. In Cote d’Ivoire, it consists of the Taï National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), and three adjacent classified forests (Cavally, Goin-Débé, Haute-Dodo) and potential ecological corridors with the Proposed GreboKrahn National Park of Liberia.
The global vision of this collaboration for the Tai-Grebo-Sapo Forest Complex is “Conservation of biodiversity and participatory sustainable management of natural resources of the ecosystems of the TGSFC while taking into account the well-being of the local populations”.
The Fourth Annual Steering Committee meeting took place in Monrovia, Liberia at the Palm Spring Resort on the 29th and the 30th of May 2017, and will be presided by the Forestry Development Authority of Liberia.
Members attending were Société de Dévelopement des Forets (SODEFOR) and the Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves (OIPR) representing the Ivorian Government stakeholders; the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation and Fauna and Flora International representing International NGO stakeholders; the German Cooperation and West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WA BiCC), a USAID funded program representing the Donor stakeholders.
The Forestry Development Authority Managing Director Darlington Tuagben earlier this year said the government of Liberia is committed to conserving at least thirty percent of its remaining forest cover.
He disclosed that several proposed protected forest areas have been earmarked since the end of the civil conflict and the Grebo/Krahn protected area was one of the protected areas earmarked for the establishment.
The Sapo National Park was already established and the need to have contiguous protected areas to allow the free movement of animals from one forest to another became eminent.