The Communities of the GolaMA Forest
The Gola National Forest area is sparsely populated. The forest communities in this area are among the poorest and most vulnerable in the country. Being remote from towns and other infrastructure, they are highly dependent on natural resources and have limited access to education, health and other social services. Agriculture, artisanal mining and bushmeat hunting provide the main sources of subsistence and income.
Forests contribute to the wellbeing of the local population by providing bushmeat,
fuelwood and building materials. In addition, they ensure water provision by
minimising sedimentation and runoff, and play an important cultural role,
housing spiritual and sacred sites.
Approximately 5,200 people (1,040 households) are settled in 12 villages in the GolaMA Project area. The project will be working most intensely with an estimated 2,000 people (ca.400 households) living in and around the villages of : Norman, Lyene, ULC/Gola, Wango/Smith, Tonglay.
Conservation and management of the forest can both conserve biodiversity and contribute to improved livelihoods. The GolaMA Project is thus a partnership of the forest communities with the global conservation community to conserve and manage the forest to meet different needs.