Liberia

Environment:

Liberia is in West Africa, facing the Atlantic Ocean. The coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and sandbars. Liberia is mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to a rolling plateau, which supports limited agriculture, with low mountains in the Northeast. The highest point is Mount Wuteve at 1,447 meters. 

The climate of Liberia is tropical, hot and humid. The dry winters have hot days and cool to cold nights. The wet and cloudy summers have frequent, heavy showers. Natural hazards include the dust-laden harmattan winds that blow from the Sahara, December to March. Environmental issues include deforestation of tropical rainforest, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, hunting of endangered species for bushmeat, pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage, pollution of rivers from industrial run-off, and the burning and dumping of household waste.

There are 19 protected areas listed for Liberia, including 10 national parks, 2 nature reserves (Wonegizi Nature Reserve, and East Nimba Nature Reserve), 1 “multiple sustainable use reserve” (Lake Piso), 1 national forest park, and 5 wetlands of international importance. There are no UNESCO biosphere reserves in Liberia. In 2018, the Liberian Observer (Daily Observer) announced the launch of the new Grebo-Krahn National Park. According to Wikipedia, Lofa-Mano National Park is a proposed national park on the Western border of Liberia.

Although the Liberian Forestry Development Authority is a prominent point of contact for nature conservation, the Environment Protection Agency maintains a wide network throughout the country. Prominent Liberian activist Silas Siakor was featured in the 2017 documentary silasthemovie.com, for his award-winning work with the Sustainable Development Institute. Other Liberian civil society organisations with social media presence include, Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Society for the Conservation of Nature of LiberiaFauna & Flora of Liberia supports the work of the Sapo Conservation Centre.

National Parks:

  • Bong Mountain National Park
  • Cestos-Senkwehn National Park
  • Foya National Park
  • Gbi National Park
  • Gola Forest National Park
  • Grand Kru-River Gee National Park
  • Kpo Mountains National Park
  • Margibi Mangrove National Park
  • Nimba West National Park
  • Sapo National Park

Culture:

More than half of the population of Liberia lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80 kilometer radius of the capital, Monrovia. Settlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Liberia began in 1822. By 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a republic.

Recent history is characterised by two periods of civil war, the First Liberian Civil War (1989-1997) and the Second Liberian Civil War (1999-2003). The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) peace-keeping force established in 2003 was scheduled to withdraw in 2018. 

There was a significant Ebola virus epidemic in Liberia (2014-2015), which dramatically impacted tourism in particular. The Liberian Ministry of Information Culture & Tourism (micat.gov.lr) maintains an active presence on Facebook. There is a Liberian National Museum in Monrovia. Cape Palmas is considered one of the traditional hometowns of Americo-Liberians, descendants of freed slaves from the United States.

Tentative World Heritage:

  • Mount Nimba Strict Reserve (extension) (2017)
  • Providence Island (2017)

References:

  • My Liberia: A Vacation Paradise – H Cooper – 2017
  • An Alluring Paradise for Tourism: Cape Palmas a reference point in Liberia – SO Gaye, I Adetunde – 2016
  • Community based ecotourism management practise, a panacea for sustainable rural development in Liberia – SO Oladeji – 2015
  • Branding Tourism in Liberia – G Van Garderen – 2013

Liberia Data