Progress on the Yaoundé Declaration: Gabon

Since the historical 1999 Yaoundé Summit on forests, the Government of Gabon has taken exceptional steps in promoting conservation.

The forestry law has been enforced, moving from the 1/82 Law of 1982 to the comprehensive 16/2001 Forestry Code promulgated in 2001.

On 30 December 1999, the Government of Gabon gazetted Minkebe Reserve as a protected area totalling 5,617 km².

It has also set up a national committee to follow-up on the commitments outlined in the Yaoundé Declaration. These included carrying out a review of the country's protected areas, which led to an unprecedented decision by President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon to declare the creation of 13 national parks in September 2002.

The country therefore moved from seven protected areas - zero national park at the time! - to a network covering 11 per cent of its national territory, and representative of all Gabon biodiversity.

Gabon also created the Conseil National des Parcs Nationaux (CNPN), a national park council that has been given the mandate of managing the national park system, facilitating synergies among all the government bodies and partners involved, and seeking mechanisms such as training and funding for the effective management of the parks.

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