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Biodiversity in West Africa

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jun 10, 2015 08:41 PM

The Sustainable and Thriving Environment for West African Regional Development (STEWARD) is a recent initiative conceptualized by USAID and the US Forest Service to increase collaboration, improve regional natural resource management, promote transfer of knowledge among countries, and initiate transboundary development projects at select sites within the Upper Guinean forest region of West Africa.  The Upper Guinean forest includes the countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana; this region is a high global priority for biodiversity conservation, and is of strategic importance in terms of peace building, extractive industries, and other key global commodities such as rubber, cocoa and oil palm.  

The Upper Guinean forest is part of the larger Guinean Forest, which is considered a world biodiversity “hotspot” and a priority conservation area because of its high species endemism.  The forest also borders one of the world's most productive marine areas; the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem is rich in fishery resources, petroleum production, and is an important global region of marine biological diversity with mangrove forests, turtle nesting beaches, wetlands, and coastal lagoons.

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