• What does World Chocolate Day mean to Gola?

    For most World Chocolate Day is just an excuse to eat a lot of chocolate. But this year we are asking people to think about the impact our love of chocolate has on the world.

    We’ve been told about the impact palm oil has on Indonesian rainforests and the impact intensive beef farming has on our climate. But when standing in the confectionery aisle at the supermarket have you ever stopped to think about the environmental…

    • 7 Jul 2019
  • Happy New Year and happy hippos!

    Happy New Year!

    The Gola Rainforest team were treated to a special present this Christmas when they collected up all the camera traps and found they had recorded loads of footage of pygmy hippos.


    The videos are helping us unlock some of the secrets about what these secretive creatures get up to under the cover of the forest. We are learning more and more about their…

    • 3 Jan 2019
  • Deforestation and cocoa

    An article in the Guardian last week shared the findings of a new report which shines a light on the fact that cocoa production in West Africa continues to drive the deforestation of protected areas. Despite pledges from major chocolate manufacturers in 2017 to put an end to cocoa related deforestation, the report suggests tens of thousands of hectares of forest were cleared in 2018 for expanding cocoa production. You can…

    • 17 Dec 2018
  • Dynasties Part 2: Tigers

    So, the BBC Dynasties series culminated last night with a story of a tigress in India struggling to raise her four cubs to adulthood.

    The Tropical Forests team was left pondering whether it is similarly difficult for our female tigers trying to raise families in Harapan, Sumatra. The answer is, probably yes.

    The critically endangered Sumatran tiger is the last surviving subspecies of Indonesian tigers; with the Balinese…

    • 10 Dec 2018
  • BBC Dynasties – giving us insight into Gola Rainforest's chimpanzees.

    There’s always a buzz around the office when a new BBC Natural History documentary airs, but the Dynasties series is particularly interesting for our Tropical Forests team because it is featuring two of the most iconic species found in our Rainforests projects.

    The opening episode of the series gave as an in-depth look into the trials and tribulations of life as a Western chimpanzee, the same species of chimpanzee…

    • 28 Nov 2018
  • An update from Harapan, Indonesia

    Gola isn’t the RSPB’s only Rainforest project. We are also still working at Hutan Harapan in Indonesia, home to the Sumatran tiger and Sumatran elephant, both critically endangered. (See our last blog about Harapan here: http://ww2.rspb.org.uk/community/getinvolved/b/rainforests/archive/2015/02/03/restoring-hope-in-indonesia-s-forests.aspx )


    Since 2016 we have been working with our partners in Indonesia…

    • 7 Nov 2018
  • Did you know you can support rainforest conservation through your carbon footprint?

    We all know we need to reduce our carbon footprint. Many of us are making an effort to use our cars less and buy locally produced goods. But for the carbon emissions you have been unable to avoid there’s still a way to make a difference – through carbon offsetting.

    Have you ever thought what your annual carbon footprint might be? You can calculate it using the Stand for Trees calculator.

    Offsetting your…

    • 24 Oct 2018
  • International Day for Rural Women - gender equality in the Gola Rainforest Project

    On Monday people around the world will be acknowledging International Day of Rural Women.

    Established by the UN, it is a day set aside to recognise “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.”

    According to the UN, women make up around 40% of the agricultural workforce…

    • 12 Oct 2018
  • It's International Chocolate Day - seems like the perfect excuse to eat Gola Chocolate?!

    It’s International Chocolate Day! Did you know that one of our fastest growing projects in Gola is our work on rainforest-friendly cocoa production? In fact, in early 2019 we will be launching our very own chocolate bar made from cocoa grown within the Greater Gola forest area.

    Commodities like cocoa can, in some cases, be drivers of deforestation, with areas of tropical forest being cleared to grow plantations…

    • 13 Sep 2018
  • The value of camera traps for research in the Gola Rainforest

    Camera traps, or remotely activated cameras, are used the world over for monitoring wildlife because they are a non-invasive and cost-effective method of collecting continuous sampling data. Camera traps are particularly useful in a forest environment where animals tend to be secretive in nature and the sheer density of vegetation makes it difficult to see anything further than a few metres away.

    The Gola team have been…

    • 3 Sep 2018
  • Welcoming back the 'Rainforests' blog

    The eagle-eyed among you will immediately notice that there haven’t been any blogs from the Rainforest team for more than three years. For this we can only apologise! After the brief suspension of activities in Gola during the Ebola outbreak that started in 2014, our work resumed in full in the summer of 2015 and the team has been busy getting back on track ever since.

    Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing…

    • 21 Aug 2018
  • Feedback from the field in Liberia: GolaMA project, Connecting Forest & People

    Below a blog written by Sorrel Jones, Field Research Advisor (RSPB) who is based in Liberia working on the GolaMA Project (funded by the European Union) which we're jointly implementing with SCNL (BirdLife Liberia). GolaMA is part of our efforts to conserve and sustainably manage the Greater Gola Landscape across Sierra Leone and Liberia. After spending close to two months in the field, Sorrel is back for a couple of…

    • 30 Jun 2015
  • We all love lists

    (Kapas River in Harapan Rainforest)

    Lists about rainforests seem to usually be listing which countries have the greatest rate of deforestation. So it was a welcome change to read this commentary in the Jakarta Globe last week, which lists the author's three favourite conservation projects in Indonesia. Those of us involved with Harapan Rainforest know just how important it is, for the forest itself and the people…

    • 4 Feb 2015
  • Restoring hope in Indonesia’s forests

    The RSPB is proud to work with our BirdLife partners to protect and restore rainforests, and to help improve the lives of the people who call these forests home. In doing so, we protect some critically endangered wildlife, and we help improve the lives and incomes of people in and around those forests, from helping provide clean water or healthcare through to helping them develop better incomes from the forests. This…

    • 3 Feb 2015
  • Deforestation: business as usual or a new hope?

    The RSPB is no stranger to rainforest conservation, having been working with our BirdLife International and government partners to protect and restore rainforests in West Africa and Indonesia for many years. So we have plenty of first-hand experience of the very real problem of deforestation driven by the production of agricultural crops and other commodities, whether for local or international consumption.

    We therefore…

    • 30 Oct 2014
  • UK Government matches Ebola Donations

    It’s been almost a month since our last post on how Ebola is affecting operations in the Gola Rainforest and the disease is still running rife through West Africa. Since we last updated you, our Gola team have been training with aid organisations on the ground in order to distribute vital relief parcels to the hard-hit communities around the Gola Rainforest. Since the beginning of the epidemic, the price of basic…

    • 30 Oct 2014
  • UK hosts International meeting to coordinate the aid effort against Ebola in Sierra Leone

    Today, 02 October, the UK Government is hosting a high-level meeting in London to coordinate the international aid effort against Ebola in Sierra Leone.  The RSPB welcomes this commitment and is a signatory to the joint NGO statement which will be delivered during the conference.


    The RSPB has been working with the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (local BirdLife Partner) and the Government of Sierra Leone for 25…

    • 2 Oct 2014
  • Gola's Ebola

    The largest ever Ebola outbreak is affecting several countries in West Africa, including Sierra Leone and Liberia where the RSPB has been working for many years with local BirdLife partners and Governments to conserve critical biodiversity and sustainably manage the greater Gola landscape. The epidemic has already been responsible for over 3083 deaths and is still threatening more lives as well as the economies of these…

    • 29 Sep 2014
  • 24 hour window into rainforest wildlife

    What do Monday's mean to you? Back to the office, catching up on your emails from last week, meeting after meeting? Have you ever wondered what Monday looks like in the rainforest? 

    If you have then make sure you check out #rainforestlive on Twitter and Facebook today because conservationists from rainforest sites around Southeast Asia are sharing live photos, videos and wildlife sightings from their respective sites…

    • 2 Jun 2014
  • Exciting news from Harapan to kick the new year off.

    A new rare frog species has been found!  The special frog, Theloderma cf. corticale, is an uncommon species and very hard to spot as it is cleverly camouflaged.

    The frog was accidentally discovered by one of Harapan Rainforest’s field guide staff while "tree hugging" during a nature hike on a new Forest Trail. (When you look at the below photo you can begin to understand how that might  be the case!)

    • 10 Jan 2014
  • Update on the Harapan coal road

    Back in November we broke the news that a coal road had been proposed to run straight through the middle of Harapan. Since then we’ve been working away behind the scenes to try and ensure that this doesn’t happen.

    There’s not much to update you on at the moment – we’ve written again to the Government and we’re currently trying to secure a meeting with the Minister of Forestry. Meanwhile the team on the ground…

    • 20 Dec 2013
  • Doing a little bit more for rainforests

    If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that we’re forever encouraging you to think about rainforests when you shop and to choose products with the Rainforest Alliance frog on them. Well, I’m pleased to say that we’re going one step further for rainforests and we’re now fully fledged members of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN).

    What’s that got to do with …

    • 13 Dec 2013
  • Chimp camera trap gets commended

    We love it when new images from our camera traps come in – clandestine photos taken of the hidden world deep within our rainforest projects, revealing the wildlife that calls the forests home and that we rarely get the privilege to see. Amongst the hundreds of photos that come in, there’s one or two gems that completely blow us away.

    One such photo was the amazing shot of the forest chimpanzees taken in the…

    • 6 Dec 2013
  • Time to hope

    Harapan is the Indonesian word for hope. The fact that our flagship tropical forest project in Indonesia bears that name couldn’t be more appropriate this week as this amazing place is once again under threat. Despite opposition, there is a proposal to build a 50km road through the middle of Harapan Rainforest, effectively cutting this area in two and putting the already-threatened wildlife and the indigenous people who…

    • 10 Nov 2013
  • All in a day's work

    Guest blogger: Hannah Chisholm, education volunteer in the Gola Rainforest National Park

    Since arriving in Sierra Leone in January, I’ve mostly been working on an educational road show for forest edge communities around Gola Rainforest National Park (GRNP) to show them the breadth of our work and help answer any questions they may have.

    Every road show has been different, but they all follow a similar structure…

    • 13 May 2013