Our Work

To facilitate the achievement of the project’s vision and ensure that the project achieves net positive benefits for climate, communities and biodiversity, project activities will focus on three goals: 


1.  Conservation strategy and effective management for the GRNP

Goal: To strengthen the conservation strategy and effective management of the GRNP and enable the project to be a stimulus for building National policies and regulations as well as informing relevant regional and international platforms of conservation best practice.


2. Sustainable natural resource management

Goal: To enable local people to become environmental stewards of the natural resource base that underpins their livelihoods through education, capacity building, land use planning and activities that enhance the socio-economic benefits derived from the sustainable use of the project zone’s forests and agricultural land. 


3. Research and monitoring

Goal: To develop and maintain a comprehensive social and biodiversity database and monitoring system to ensure the availability of accurate, relevant and timely information to inform and enhance project management and the effective delivery of outcomes, using adaptive management processes. See Biodiversity Monitoring Plan.

Management

The Gola REDD project has a 30 year lifecycle. The overall management of the project is overseen by the three partners and the representative of the Paramount Chiefs of the seven Gola Chiefdoms, whilst the day to day management of the project is implemented by a team of over 160 staff based in Kenema, close to the project area. The team is organised in different departments (Park Operations, Research&Monitoring, Community&Development, etc) and works with local stakeholders and partners to implement the project as well as the communities in the leakage belt and the seven Gola Community Development Committees in the offsite zone.

Stakeholder engagement

The Gola REDD project has adopted and followed the principles of Free, Prior and Informed consent (FPIC) in developing the REDD project. A stakeholder engagement plan was developed and implemented; this began in January 2012 with a series of consultative meetings from Paramount Chief level to forest edge communities to develop an understanding of climate change and REDD+ and to gain approval for beginning the project development process. Consultations and meetings were conducted throughout the project zone in accordance with best practice for social impact assessment, in Mende, the local language and using appropriate methodologies and tools. Community engagement and consultation is a key part of the project and regular road shows, radio programs, workshops, school events as well as traditional meetings and forums all form on-going means of communicating and engaging with a full range of local stakeholders from Paramount Chiefs to school children and farmers throughout the project zone and Chiefdoms.

Rights and tenure

The Forestry Division of the Government of Sierra Leone is the management authority for all Forest Reserves and National Parks in Sierra Leone, including the project area. Through carbon agreements with traditional landowners the carbon rights also lie with the Government of Sierra Leone.