Apologies for lack of Welsh translation
This is a difficult time for Gola, as the largest -ever Ebola outbreak is currently affecting West Africa, including Sierra Leone and Liberia. Size of Wales and the RSPB have been working for many years with local BirdLife partners and Governments to conserve critical biodiversity and sustainably manage the greater Gola landscape with local communities. We have weathered many challenges, but this is amongst the worst we have faced and one where we can do little to meaningfully assist. Consumption of bushmeat (i.e. meat from wild animals such as bats or monkeys) in Guinea is believed to be the root cause of this epidemic, which at the time of writing has already been responsible for over 3,300 deaths and is still threatening more lives, as well as national economies and food security. Gola’s forest edge communities are amongst the worst affected, which is partly due to their remoteness from any medical care and levels of poverty, but also to the fact that their livelihoods rely heavily on agriculture. The impacts of this epidemic will certainly have longer term repercussions which we can’t yet assess.
The RSPB is doing its upmost to support and assist project staff as well as Gola’s local communities during these particularly difficult times, stressing that staff and communities should take advice from the medical authorities, and highlighting how critical it is for all to adhere to national and international efforts to contain this epidemic. It is with heartfelt friendship that Size of Wales and RSPB reach out to all its Sierra Leonean and Liberian colleagues and friends.
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