Liberia

EFA began operations in Liberia in 1997 as the civil war in Sierra Leone degenerated. Since 1997, EFA has remained active in Liberia and currently works in Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado, and Nimba counties.

Liberia is considered part of the Upper Guinean Rainforest of West Africa. It is a highly diverse ecosystem and is considered under threat. The country is covered in more than 40 percent* tropical rainforest – the highest ratio of forest cover in all of West Africa

While a source of pride, the forests are under considerable pressure for their abundant resources, especially as Liberia seeks to improve its economic prospects.

Emerging from a civil war, instigated under the leadership of then-President Charles Taylor, Liberia held democratic elections in October and November 2005. Ellen Johnson Shielf became the President of Liberia at the end of 2005, the first female preside

However peace is fragile and as of December 2005, 15,000 UN Peace Keeping troops remained on the ground. According to Global Witness, “Given the historical role that natural resources have played in fuelling instability and conflict, tackling the problem of natural resource management remains key to rebuilding Liberia’s and the regions security.” (An Architecture of Instability: How the critical link between natural resources and conflict remains unbroken, Global Witness, December 2005)

Liberia
EFA began operations in Liberia in 1997 as the civil war in Sierra Leone degenerated. Since 1997, EFA has remained active in Liberia and currently works in Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado, and Nimba counties.
Liberia is considered part of the Upper Guinean Rainforest of West Africa. It is a highly diverse ecosystem and is considered under threat. The country is covered in more than 40 percent* tropical rainforest – the highest ratio of forest cover in all of West Africa.

While a source of pride, the forests are under considerable pressure for their abundant resources, especially as Liberia seeks to improve its economic prospects.
Emerging from a civil war, instigated under the leadership of then-President Charles Taylor, Liberia held democratic elections in October and November 2005. Ellen Johnson Shielf became the President of Liberia at the end of 2005, the first female president in Africa.

In response to the improving political situation and transition from humanitarian interventions to development, EFA worked with the United Nation’s Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to incorporate environmental management into their operations.
Other major EFA activities in Liberia have included environmental education, livelihood training in tree nursery management, agroforestry, and domestic energy conservation and most recently teaching environmentally sound agricultural methods through year round low-land swamp development, with an emphasis on war-affected populations.

Currently EFA is in its final phase of working with UNHCR in Liberia. After 12 years of working in partnership with UNHCR to increase environmental awareness and make environmentally founded interventions in refugee camps and host communities, activities have now been scaled down to minor environmental interventions in the area of erosion control and landscaping. The repatriation, reintegration and resettlement of Sierra Leonean refugees and internally displaced Liberians is now coming to an end which has led to EFA’s scaling down of operations there.

EFA maintains a presence in Liberia and is currently implementing a one year project to provide drainage systems and environmental landscaping for a local integration camp for former Sierra Leonean refugees in Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia. EFA is also promoting livelihood activities by promoting sustainable year round low-land swamp cultivation for the locally integrated former Sierra Leonean refugees and their host communities.

*Conservation International, November 2003