The Forest of the Hope
The Gola Rainforest is one of the largest remnants of the Upper Guinean Tropical Rainforest. It is considered to be one of the world’s 34 priority conservation areas because of its high biodiversity and endemism.
The forest covers an area of 700 square kilometres, and it provides a home to over 330 species of bird (14 of which are at risk of global extinction), a population of 300 chimpanzees and 49 species of larger mammals.
Of these larger mammals, the most significant for conservation include pygmy hippopotomi, African forest elephants, Zebra duikers, western chimpanzees, Diana monkeys and Western red colobui. There are also 899 different plant species within the rainforest, 232 of which are different species of tree.
These species are only a few of those that drove the international recognition of this area as a global biodiversity hotspot, requiring utmost effort and attention from the conservation community.
The Gola Rainforest National Park was started to act as a catalyst for peace, prosperity and national pride in Sierra Leone, ensuring that its globally important habitats, biodiversity, environmental services and wider landscape are conserved and that neighbouring communities are active environmental stewards of the natural resource base that underpins and enhances their livelihoods.
The Gola Rainforest National Park works on many projects such as preserving biodiversity, climate change mitigation and building communities.