Conservation of the Aberdeen Creek safeguarding population and birds



Created in 1992, the French Committee of the IUCN is the network of organisms and experts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in France. It brings together in a unique partnership 2 ministries, 13 public organisms, 41 non-governmental organizations and more than 250 experts grouped in specialized commissions and in thematic working groups. Through this diverse composition, it is a unique platform for dialogue and expertise on biodiversity issues, associating local communities and companies as well. The French Committee of the IUCN has two main missions: provide answers to biodiversity issues in France and bring forward French expertise abroad.

The Small-Scale Initiatives Programme

Since 2006, the Small-Scale Initiatives (SSI) programme, financed by the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and managed by the French Committee of the IUCN, supports civil society’s organizations from Sub-Saharan Africa engaged in the preservation of biodiversity and the fight against climate change by financing small-scale projects. In 10 years, this programme financed 181 projects in 28 countries in Central and Western Africa and in Madagascar.

The Conservation Society of Sierra Leone intervenes in the Aberdeen Creek, the only Ramsar site of Sierra Leone, at the western periphery of the capital, Freetown, and covering 110 ha of shore and 1800 ha of mangrove. The site is listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because it is a stop for paleartic migratory birds such as Gallinago media (Great snipe), an endangered species which had been observed several years ago and which seemed to have disappeared from the area. Cutting of mangrove wood, sand extraction and the development of infrastructures in the creek critically threaten this ecosystem.

The objective of the project is to rehabilitate the 3250 ha damaged mangrove zone and to progress in the creation of a protected area, already begun by the Sierra Leone Environmental Protection Agency (SLEPA), in order to, among other things, make the site attractive for ornithological tourism and bring more revenues from tourism to the 6 communities of Aberdeen and Cockrill/Lumley.

Main achievements:

  • A lobbying workshop for 100 people from the government and other stakeholders like the National Tourist Board and the National Certified Tourist Guides will be organized to raise awareness on the need to create a protected area in the Aberdeen Creek ;
  • 10 000 propagules will be collected in order to reforest around 3250 ha of mangrove in the damaged zones of the creek ;
  • Events will be organized for the World Migratory Bird Day with the help of Freetown’s  secondary schools;
  • 100 people from communities will be educated on the biology of birds and trained to birdwatching in order to be able to welcome visitors later on.


For more information:

Contact :

French Committee of the IUCN
Musée de l'Homme                                                                              
17, place du Trocadéro
75016 PARIS


Level of education: 
Wider public
Sierra Leone