Today, 02 October, the UK Government is hosting a high-level meeting in London to coordinate the international aid effort against Ebola in Sierra Leone. The RSPB welcomes this commitment and is a signatory to the joint NGO statement which will be delivered during the conference.
The RSPB has been working with the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (local BirdLife Partner) and the Government of Sierra Leone for 25 years to sustainably manage the Gola forest landscape, conserve critical biodiversity and vital ecosystem services such as water, and improving the livelihoods of more than 24,000 people living at the forest’s edge, and supporting community projects such as construction of a clinic and farmer field schools. The partnership faced the tragedy of a civil war in the 1990s, and today it faces the unprecedented Ebola outbreak.
The full impacts of this epidemic, are difficult to accurately predict, and will include issues of food security in coming years, in addition to the tragic short-term human impact. The Gola partners are committed to continuing our conservation and community and agricultural development activities in the coming years. In the short term, however, such activities are curtailed by Ebola.
The Gola partners remain committed to the forest and its communities though,and have offered logistical support to the DFID coordinated response, to distribute vital relief parcels to the hard-hit communities around Gola rainforest.
The RSPB is not a humanitarian organisation, so we are not running our own appeal. However, if you wish to donate to the international aid effort, you may wish to visit the British Red Cross’ appeal:
For more information about our work in and around Gola Rainforest, please contact Nicolas Tubbs,Tropical Forest Conservation Manager
The largest ever Ebola outbreak is affecting several countries in West Africa, including Sierra Leone and Liberia where the RSPB has been working for many years with local BirdLife partners and Governments to conserve critical biodiversity and sustainably manage the greater Gola landscape. The epidemic has already been responsible for over 3083 deaths and is still threatening more lives as well as the economies of these countries. The RSPB is doing its upmost to support and assist project staff as well as Gola’s local communities during these particularly difficult times, and stressing that staff and communities should take advice from the medical authorities, and highlighting how critical it is for all to abide to national and international efforts to contain this epidemic. It is with heartfelt friendship that the RSPB reaches out to all its Sierra Leonean and Liberian colleagues.
For more information, don't hesitate to get in touch, Nicolas.email@example.com.
What do Monday's mean to you? Back to the office, catching up on your emails from last week, meeting after meeting? Have you ever wondered what Monday looks like in the rainforest?
If you have then make sure you check out #rainforestlive on Twitter and Facebook today because conservationists from rainforest sites around Southeast Asia are sharing live photos, videos and wildlife sightings from their respective sites. So far the teams taking part have spotted ridiculously cute baby orangutans, elusive tarsiers and majestic elephants.
Matt Williams, Communications Manager for the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project, thinks it's important to remind people why organisations are working to save these special places:
"So often coverage of rainforests focuses on the threats to jungles and wildlife. Amid stories about palm oil, deforestation, logging and poaching, it's easy to forget the beauty and wonders of these forests. If people in Southeast Asia and across the world are reminded of this incredible natural gift, then we have a better chance of saving tropical rainforest everywhere."