Sustainable Alternative Livelihood for Illegal Wildlife Trading communities around the Cestos-Senkwen-Sapo Biodiversity Hotspots of Liberia

Providing freshwater fish products to sustain food security and ensure peaceful co-existence between local inhabitants and wildlife species.

Photo of Bernard S
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Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Community Aid for Rehabilitation and Development (CARD)

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $100k - $250k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50,000 - 100,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Liberia

Headquarters location: City

Stockton Creek Health Center Building, Caldwell Bridge Community, Bushrod Island, Monrovia.

Location(s) of impact

Liberia, in 10 districts around the Cestos-Senkwen-Sapo Biodiversity Hotspots in Sinoe, River-Cess and Grand Gedeh Counties, South-eastern Liberia.



Facebook URL

CARD is community-based and is using photos to justify skills/achievements.

Twitter URL


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Illegal wildlife trading, slash-and-burn farming and illicit logging continue to affect biodiversity conservation and provoke the growing threat of Climate Change around the Cestos-Senkwen & Sapo Biodiversity Hotspots. The inhabitants around these Hotspots live in thatch huts and below US$0.50 per person-a-day, eating Ebola-contaminated bush meat and cutting down trees that give us free oxygen. The high cost of imported food products is solely due to impassable bad road condition, especially during the rainy season.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Training 300 rural youth & women groups to innovate aquaculture development and management. Provide tools for labor-based construction of protection bonds, irrigation canals, dams and monk drains. Collaborate with the "Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI)" to supply "Tilapia Fingerlings" and co-train community-elected and women-led "Project Management Teams (PMT)" to ensure effective site maintenance, feeding of young fish (twice a day, every day for 6 consecutive months), protect sites from pests evasion and illicit fishing at night, harvest and sell fish products. Ensure that heads of PMTs, local authorities and CARD form a "Project Advisory Board (PAB)", so as to share lessons learned from site to site; monitor fish harvests and income banking; use 30% of annual income as interest-free loans (revolving funds) for irrigation swamp-rice farming, 20% for site maintenance; and, the balance 50% will sustain community water, health, electricity, project replication, etc.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

As refugees in Guinea, we developed 324 hectares which sustained 7,000 vulnerable refugee families in swamp-rice and aquaculture production from 1996 to 2004, funded by Caritas International (DCV Germany). The two sites developed in Karnplay, Nimba County and Belebokre, Sinoe County are producing over 50,000 tilapia fish and generating US$20,000.00 annually. Aquaculture and irrigation swamp-rice farming are environmentally-friendly and have the potential to sustain food security in a responsible manner to conserve wildlife and the tropical rain forest in Liberia. Providing "Interest-free loans is attracting farmers to engage in irrigation swamp-rice farming in the targeted communities. As a result, illegal wildlife trading and slash-and-burn farming have been reduced significantly in recent years. We are presently sensitizing the communities around the Cestos-Senkwen-Sapo Hotspots, while seeking for donor funding to expand or scale-up freshwater fish production in progressive way.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

50% of our annual budget is supported by grants from donor institutions and local engineering construction contracts. The balance 50% is secured from technical consultancy and project procurement services we are carrying out with non-project and commercial institutions (see Award attached). For this project, the 10 hectares can produce about 400,000 tilapia fish annually. At 80% actual production, with an affordable price of US$0.40, we can generate US$128,000.00 annually. This projected income will be used as follow: (1) Use 20% (US$25,600.00) for maintenance of host sites; (2) use 30% (US$38,400.00) as interest-free loans to support irrigation swamp-rice farming and (3) use the balance 50% (US$64,000.00) to sustain community development, capacity building and project replication.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Fish farming is still innovative in Liberia, as compared to neighboring Ivory Coast and Guinea. Our project is different from others working in the same field; because, the post project sustainability and periodic replication plan is tangible. The role of the "Project Management Teams (PMT)" and "Project Advisory Board (PAB)" provides a tangible benchmark to sustain project activities. Reserving 30% (US$38,400.00) annually is practical enough to replicate the project in a progressive way.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

CARD is a National NGO registered under the laws of Liberia on March 14, 2005. As refugees in Guinea, we established an NGO known as “Agriculture Development Aid (ADA/OCPH), which was protected by "Organisation Catholique pour la Promotion Humaine (OCPH)" and funded by Caritas International (DCV Germany) from 1996 to 2004 - see attached. We were motivated to empower underfed refugees engaged in irrigation swamp-rice farming when their food rations were halved from 100g per refugee a day to 50g. We developed 324 hectares of swamp-lands in 8 years which benefited over 7,000 vulnerable refugee families. Upon our return to Liberia, CARD was established to transfer lessons learned and empower the rural poor overcome socioeconomic injustice and join the global fight against Abject Poverty, Hunger and Climate Change in a responsible manner, especially in areas around biodiversity species .

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Nestlé page or contact


Join the conversation:

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Interesting job. Good luck.

Photo of Bernard S

Thank you for your comment. We welcome your understanding of what we are planning to do. Aquaculture and irrigation swamp-rice farming have been our career since 1996 and we need no more scientific research to share our ideas and practice with the rest of the world to propel biodiversity conservation, decent and sustainable for security and rural economic prosperity, relevance to protect life and mitigate Climate Change for the present and future generations. The trading and consumption of wildlife (bush meat products) has provoked the outbreak and spread of the deadly Ebola Virus disease which claimed the lives of over 4,000 innocent Liberians in 2014. Economically-backward rural and urban women are still trading sex with poachers for Ebola-contaminated bush meat products to sustain their livelihood, which violated women rights. Rural farmers are still cutting down forests for unsustainable shifting cultivation which provokes deforestation or Climate Change, before, during and after the recent Conference on Climate Change (COP23) in Germany. This project is our community contribution to enhance SDGs # 1, 2, 5, 11, 13 & 15 in a responsible/sustainable and cost-efficient way in Liberia for global common good.