Tucked away in a remote corner of west Africa, Guinea-Bissau is a little know jewel of nature and traditional cultures. It is home to some of the planet’s most threatened habitats, plants and animals, including vast coastal mangroves, dense tropical forests, unique coastal islands, whales, dolphins, chimpanzees, forest elephants, and massive flocks of birds, both full time residents and those migrating between Europe and Africa along the Atlantic flyway – to name but a few. It is also one of the poorest countries in Africa.
The people of Guinea-Bissau live by using nature. Fisheries, forestry, agriculture etc. form the backbone of people’s livelihoods and the national economy. Balancing the needs of people with protecting the natural foundations of their livelihoods is not easy. Protected areas, co-managed by government and communities, cover over 25% of the country. However, finding the resources to meet the urgent needs for economic development and conservation is a constant challenge.