The Congo: Protecting Conkouati Douli National Park

Where the forest meets the sea: Conkouati-Douli National Park. CNDP 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 perhaps the only park in the world where you can find elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, leopards and buffalo near humpback and orca whales, marine turtles, dolphins and manatees within hugely ecologically diverse habitats including; beaches, mangroves, lagoons, inland lakes and a mountain chain with dense tropical forest. Many of these species both flora and fauna are critically endangered.

7,000 people live in or around the national park in 30 separate villages and rely on the forests for their livelihoods through fishing, agriculture and hunting. This project works with the local community to ensure long-term protection of CDNP’s biodiversity by developing sustainable resource management and community engagement. Offering alternative sources of revenue and protein improving attitudes toward the Park and dissuading the population from participating in illegal degrading activities.

One way this is done by improving fishing techniques to decrease the dependency on bushmeat. The community income is also improved through an eco-tourism scheme while an education programme helps raise awareness amongst young people.

This Project, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), will build on education and awareness programmes in schools and communities, leading community training promoting effective governance and management systems and distribution of village development funds.

 


Threats:


• Illegal poaching for ivory and bushmeat
• Illegal industrial fisheries.
• Illegal mining/mineral extraction
• Illegal logging activities such as illegal timber extraction threaten to increase degradation of the forest which is the largest contributor to emissions in the Republic of Congo.


Achievements:


• Set up eco-tourism bungalows to generate income
• 10 additional ecoguards employed
• Continues to be a refuge for elephants
• Wildlife crime unit set up
• Sustainable fishing techniques adopted
• Environmental education for young community members

Hectares:


285,000


Partner:



Small action - big impact