Conkouati-Douli National Park (CDNP) is the most ecologically diverse park in the Republic of Congo, extending from the Atlantic coast to inland mountains and savannah. Habitats include beaches, mangroves, lagoons, and inland lakes surrounded by a mountain chain with dense tropical forest. It is also home to a huge variety of water and land based animals.
Easy access between CDNP and the capital Pointe Noire means that CDNP is vulnerable to unsustainable natural resource exploitation such as illegal timber extraction, illegal industrial scale fisheries, poaching for ivory, hunting for bushmeat and mineral extraction. All these destructive and unsustainable activities result in the degradation of the park’s natural resources and with few other viable income opportunities, local populations are easily persuaded to undertake such exploitation.
With few viable income opportunities for the impoverished communities living in and around CDNP, local populations are easily persuaded to undertake exploitation of the park’s natural resources. As such, the overall aim of this project is to ensure the long-term conservation of Conkouati Douli National Park (CDNP) is secured through improved capacity of the community to protect, manage, and benefit from natural resources, strengthening CDNP’s climate change resilience.
Specific objectives are as follows:
To reduce threats to Conkouati-Douli National Park (CDNP), alternative activities and benefits to local communities will be provided to increase wellbeing and improve perceptions of CDNP, creating positive conditions and enabling a decrease in destructive practices (i.e. illegal hunting and timber harvesting) that degrade the park.
Conkouati-Douli National Park (CDNP) is in the south-west of the Republic of Congo, 150km from the economic capital and port town of Pont Noire. CDNP is the most ecologically diverse park in the Congo, extending from the Atlantic coast, inland to mountains and savannah.
Habitats include beaches, mangroves, lagoons, and inland lakes surrounded by a mountain chain with dense tropical forest. The area is consequently home to an extraordinarily diverse range of fauna, with marine species such as manatees, marine turtles, dolphins and whales, and many critically threatened terrestrial species, such as forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, mandrills and forest buffalo and 400 species of vertebrates.
30 villages in and around the park are home to 7,000 people. Communities are made up of two principal ethnic groups – the Vili and the Loumbou. The Vili communities are based along the coast. Known to have settled here in the 13th Century, they predominantly rely on fishing for their livelihood. The Loumbou and various other forest tribes tend to rely more on agriculture, hunting and employment in the logging concessions.
More than 50% of the population are aged under 16, while 80% of the people between 16 and 25 are unemployed. Less than 55 of the overall population are formally employed.
Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) goal is to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 16 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the planet’s biodiversity. WCS uses science to discover and understand the natural world. Using this knowledge, they engage and inspire decision-makers, communities, and millions of supporters to take action to protect the wildlife and wild places.