The CEPF team of CSSL developed a small guide on the Yawri Bay. The two page document is essentially a summary of different aspects of the Yawri Bay. These include a map and brief geography of the bay, the demography and economy of the bay, the environmental importance of the bay especially in relation to ecotourism, and the current threats to the bay and management interventions by the CSSL in an attempt to curb the impacts on the bay. To learn more about the Yawri Bay Guide we interviewed Andrea Haffner, CEPF team.

What kind of information can we find in the guide?

The two page document is essentially a summary of different aspects of the Yawri Bay. These include a map and brief geography of the bay, the demography and economy of the bay, the environmental importance of the bay especially in relation to ecotourism, and the current threats to the bay and management interventions by the CSSL in an attempt to curb the impacts on the bay. Also highlighted are images of some of the endangered biodiversity found in the bay, livelihood activities in progress within the bay and photos that demonstrate some of the threats identified during the assessment of the bay.

Which is the most important information in the guide?

I cannot pinpoint one particular item that surpasses the rest in terms of importance. It is important that when the guide is picked up, someone can identify the location of the Yawri bay, understand the people and their livelihood activities being undertaken, whilst also visualizing why the bay is so important for protection and identifying the current threats that need to be controlled. Put together, every itemized paragraph makes complete sense in terms of conceptualizing the bay, its people and on-going activities without even having an initial visit to the site.

How and when should the guide be used?

The guide can be used by all Sierra Leoneans as it broadens our knowledge by providing key information about an important protected area and proposed RAMSAR site within our country. It gives information that otherwise would have been left unknown. This has been a gap and serious challenge that has negatively influenced bad practices within our environment.

It is important for foreign and local tourists who may want to visit areas within the bay as it provides informed knowledge about the site. In short, the guide paints a picture of what is to be expected beforehand. This document will effectively guide the plans of a tourist so the visit can be enjoyed to the fullest.

This guide can also be used by schools to help raise awareness of the importance of protecting the site at a young age. This will help build a generation proud of the importance of their environment and conscious of the need to continue protecting it.

Why should all of us have a look at the guide?

Sierra Leone is a beautiful country but there is little publicity about these sites and the dire need of conserving them for the benefit of present and future generations. This guide briefly presents the story of a beautiful site, what it hosts that makes it important to everyone and not just the inhabitants of the bay, the on-going and potential threats and all that has been and needs to be done for its protection. Protecting our environment is everyone’s business and action must start now.

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