Sapo Conservation Centre for research and training: a new hope for researchers and conservation professionals in Liberia
In 2013, on the 30th anniversary of the Sapo National Park, the conservation sector of Liberia fittingly celebrated the completion of the Sapo Conservation Centre. The centre was created to address the lack of capacity for applied conservation and ecological research that leaves the vast biological diversity of Liberia largely unknown, and to some extent, unprotected. Its purpose is to train Liberian students and professionals in biodiversity conservation and research and to facilitate access to Liberia’s wildlife for national and international researchers.
The centre serves multiple functions, as Liberia’s only conservation centre, and as a field station for rangers and organisations working in and around Sapo National Park (SNP), Liberia’s only National Park.
Bio-monitoring equipment is also stored at the centre. SCC’s proximity to the park facilitates of these functions.
The centre is also unique in that it is located within easy contact of the managing body of the nearby national park.
SCC is overseen by a Steering Committee, made up of Liberian Forestry Development Authority (FDA), the
University of Liberia (UL), Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the
Forestry Training Institute (FTI) representatives as well as representatives of the Environmental Protection
Agency of Liberia (EPA) and the Liberian Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Due to the devastating civil war that lasted for over 14 years and ended in 2003, there has been little opportunity to build capacity in natural resource management as the crisis disrupted the training of natural resource personnel and destroyed the structures for research and education. The civil crisis also had a negative impact on biodiversity as deforestation increased as a result of uncontrolled logging and hunting which lead to a significant reduction in Liberia’s forests and inhabitants therein.
Since its opening the conservation centre has trained many future and current conservation biologists and foresters, and continues to offer opportunities for research, learning, and volunteering to many others.
For more information on the center and its activities, visit our FAQ page here, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.