A historical focus on protected areas…WWF has been active in southeast Cameroon since 1990. There, our initial involvement focused mainly on elephant inventories and then on a landmark programme to establish protected areas.
Begun in the mid-1990s, this programme committed the Government of Cameroon to the creation of 3 protected areas: Lake Lobéké, Boumba Bek and Nki, covering more than 700,000 ha.
But protected areas in the traditional sense cannot work where local people rely on forests for survival. So WWF also helped establish community-hunting areas to address local subsistence needs - in particular, those of the indigenous BaAka pygmies.
In Gabon, WWF has focused on protected areas management, working with the Government in Minkébé in the northeastern region and the Gamba Complex for over 15 years.
WWF also led the process of developing a ground-breaking trans-border programme centred on Minkébé National Park, linking it to Dja, Boumba Bek and Nki Reserves in Cameroon and Odzala National Park in Congo-Brazzaville.
Our efforts to set up more protected areas are continuous. In collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), we carried out background surveys and studies that led to the creation of 13 new National Parks, announced by the President of Gabon in 2002.