Since 2012, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has led a national programme in Liberia that focuses on building the capacity of the next generation of conservation professionals. This work led to the establishment of the Sapo Conservation Centre in Sapo National Park, which serves as a training centre where Liberian students and professionals can get practical  conservation and research experience, and as a field station and research base for conservationists and international researchers.

A well-established internship and mentoring programme offers participants the opportunity to work directly on the front line of conservation while receiving training and guidance to support their professional development.


By building the capacity of Liberia’s up-and-coming conservation professionals, we can ensure that the country’s rich natural heritage is managed sustainably into the future. In particular, we aim to increase in-country capacity for conservation and protected area management including biomonitoring, awareness raising, community engagement, and supporting sustainable livelihoods.

We are also working with Liberian conservation professionals to help them develop the skills and experience needed to tackle key threats to Liberia’s biodiversity (such as illegal wildlife trade), carry out wildlife and biodiversity surveys, and create species action plans for elephants, pygmy hippos, western chimpanzees and other threatened species found in Liberia and its transboundary landscapes.

Our work

Capitalising on our established national capacity building programme, FFI is playing a lead role in developing a system of applied training to boost Liberia’s ability to effectively implement national species action plans, and supporting with the development of a national strategy for illegal wildlife trade. FFI and the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) organised a second regional workshop to update the existing ten year conservation strategy for pygmy hippos across range states, and is implementing a nationwide and transboundary survey of these elusive animals.

FFI is also working with the FDA and several partners to build the capacity of law enforcement agencies, wildlife officers and park rangers to improve protected area law enforcement and strengthen Liberia’s ability to respond to illegal wildlife trade.

Key milestones

  • 2019

    FFI starts a three-year capacity building project to combat illegal wildlife trade.

  • 2017

    FFI is awarded a three-year grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to develop Liberia's capacity to effectively conserve the pygmy hippo through applied training.

  • 2016

    FFI begins a large five-year project for north-west Liberia, which further expands professional development opportunities.

  • 2015

    Dr Mary Molokwu-Odozi, FFI’s Liberia country manager, is shortlisted as one of three finalists for the prestigious Tusk Conservation Award.

  • 2013

    FFI expands into north-west Liberia in partnership with Skills and Agricultural Development Services to provide mentorship and sustainable development opportunities to more professionals both from the government and civil society sectors.

  • 2013

    Sapo Conservation Centre opens in Sapo National Park.

  • 2012

    FFI initiates a national programme in Liberia focusing on developing the capacity of the next generation of conservation professionals.

Project partners

  •  Forestry Development Authority (FDA)
  •  Forestry Training Institute 
  •  University of Liberia
  •  Wild Chimpanzee Foundation 
  •  Society for the Conservation of Nature in Liberia 
  •  Farmers Associated to Conserve the Environment 
  •  Forest Cry Liberia 
  •  Skills and Agricultural Development Services
  •  Partners in Development 
  •  Zoological Society of London (ZSL)


We are grateful for the support from the following funders for this project:

  • UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund
  • Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)
  • Pygmy Hippo Foundation 
  •  Stop Ivory / Elephant Protection Initiative
  • Arcus Foundation 
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – through the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WA BiCC) programme
  • Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)