The U.S. Forest Service recently conducted an eco-tourism assessment of the Mount Nimba landscape, which includes parts of Guinea, Ivory Coast and Liberia. The Forest Service assessment focuses on the Liberia side of the Mount Nimba range, much of which used to be an open-pit iron ore mine that was then converted into protected areas – including the East Nimba Nature Reserve and surrounding community forests.
The assessment concludes that the Mount Nimba landscape of Liberia has the potential to become a regionally significant destination for ecotourism that could benefit local communities. It outlines four primary actions to begin the transition: 1. Expand, integrate and diversify tourism circuits , 2. Improve site visits and user experience , 3. Enhance overnighting options , 4. Conduct marketing and outreach.
The Forest Service and USAID/Liberia are using the assessment to start stakeholder discussions around developing a vision, strategy and implementation plan to move forward, and they believe that ecotourism holds promise for sustainable forest-based livelihoods. Stay tuned for updates and read the complete assessment here.