World Wildlife Week encourages youths around the world to rally together to address ongoing major threats to wildlife including habitat change, over-exploitation, or illicit trafficking. Youth are the agents of change; in fact, we are already seeing the positive impacts on conservation issues made by some young conservation leaders around the world.

Forest and Livelihoods – sustaining people and plant

The theme of the Wildlife Week 2021 is ‘Forest and Livelihoods; sustaining people and plant’. To address this topic and the relevance of the protection of forests for our livelihoods, CSSL celebrated the Wildlife Week at the new Ecolodge at Big Water Community at the Western Area Peninsula. Why did we choose the Big Water Community for our celebration? Everywhere at the Peninsula we can witness the ongoing deforestation. We wanted to give the youth and our other guests the opportunity to feel the difference between deforested areas and forests. CSSL works with the community at Big Water to help them to sustain the forest in their area. One way to protect the forest is to show its value to the community members. CSSL is trying to do this through a co-managed ecolodge which will open soon.

The photos below show the beautiful nature at Big Water which we want to protect and one of the buildings of the new Ecolodge.

CSSL celebrated Wildlife Week 2021 with staff members, members of the board of trustees, representatives from the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, representatives from the community, teachers and pupils from our school nature clubs as well as representatives from the media. After the presentation we were lucky to listen to important inputs from our guests about the importance of the forest and the difficulties to protect it. Interesting questions were raised and the lectures of the Biodiversity Officers from CSSL were followed by the students.

Protecting Wildlife and Forests means protecting livelidhoods

Wildlife is not only about animals. This was one of the most important messages of the Wildlife Week 2021, highlighted by the different speakers of the day. Wildlife protection also means protection of habitats. At the same time the habitats, like the forests, are important for our livelihoods and survival. The forest gives as oxygen, it provides us with good soil, food and water. You can experience all the benefits the forest is providing at Big Water. When you reach the ecolodge underneath the trees, you breathe the fresh and pure air, you can feel the nice temperature and you can listen to the sounds of the river and the birds. This is the experience we want to share with our guests and the School Nature Club students. So that they can share their experiences and their new knowledge with their friends, with their families and at their schools.

The deforestation at the Peninsula is a severe threat to wildlife and to livelihood of the people who are living there. We know that it is a big challenge to protect the forest. We hope that we can contribute our bit to the protection of the Western Area Peninsula National Park with awareness raising, with connecting communities and officials and with the help of the future generation.

CSSL Newsletter 2-2024

In this issue, the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone promotes livelihood activities in Big wata community to encourage the community to move away from the

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