The Social Assessment of a Protected Area (SAPA) is being done by the first time in Liberia, in the Sapo National Park area.
A team from the Liberian office of Fauna and Flora International visited the first of the communities in March to hold an interactive forum and short exercise to determine the impact of the Sapo National Park on these communities in the last five years. The aim of the project is to identify negative and positive impacts as perceived by the communities and, using this information, work with these communities to reduce these costs and increase the benefits.
So far, phase one of the project is complete, with a total of 50 communities surveyed. Phase two (a meeting of all Stakeholder) will commence after a comprehensive review and prioritisation of the results in terms of importance, urgency, and reversibility.
The One Health project starts in September 2016 in the Sapo National Park area, and will be coordinated from the SCC.
A team of Czech Researchers will visit the park to determine the relationship between the health of the park’s animals and the local communities. Due to the proximity of the people to the park, and the many ways in which they interact, it is possible that pathogens pass between them. The researcher will collect and test dung samples from Sapo fauna including Pygmy Hippo, Forest Elephant and Western Chimpanzee. Blood samples from local health facilities will then be collected and tested.