The Gamba Complex - Our Solutions

What is WWF doing in Gamba?

WWF's work in the Gamba Complex is based on a thorough analysis to ensure the successful long term conservation of the national parks and other parts of the complex.

In 2003, WWF undertook a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis in close cooperation with all government, private and local stakeholders to inform its work in the Gamba Complex.

Long Term Funding
WWF is working with the government and other partners to create long term funding for conservation, by creating a system of user fees, trust fund, sponsorship and private sector based initiatives.

Public-private partnerships: WWF & Shell Working agenda in Gabon
The purpose of the WWF & Shell agenda is to strengthen understanding of respective interests and optimize synergies for improved conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in the Gamba Complex through the implementation of a working agenda currently based on 3 themes:

1. Shell Gabon Bushmeat Action Plan
This action plan follows a phased approach which started with the production and dissemination in the Gamba Complex of a jointly designed poster/leaflet in which Shell officially affirmed its bushmeat policy.

This includes the control of ice boxes on incoming and outgoing flights at Gamba airport by Park, Wildllife and WWF teams and an information campaign by Shell security staff, as well as the establishment of a bushmeat controlling system along Shell Gabon concessions' checkpoints, production and access roads.

2. Shell Sustainable Livelihoods Program (2004-2006)
The purpose of the Programme is to identify and implement a diversity of income generating initiatives that enhance the sustainable livelihoods of people living in and around Gamba town while assuring the long term management and protection of biodiversity in the Gamba Complex.

In October 2004, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to set up a Steering Committee responsible for supervising the implementation of this programme. The Steering Committee includes: Shell Gabon, Shell Foundation, WWF Gamba, le Fonds d'Expansion et de Développement des petites et moyennes Entreprises (FODEX), National Empoyment Office (ONE), The After Oil Reflection Committee - AORC - (local NGO), the Municipality of Gamba, and the District Council of Ndougou.

WWF's role in this programme is to provide technical support on all issues related to biodiversity conservation arising in the course of the programme's implementation.

3. Gamba Conservation Centre
One key approach for WWF in private sector collaboration, including Shell, is through its catalysing role in the creation of the Gamba Conservation Centre. The Centre groups a number of public and private partners in one site to facilitate communication and collaboration, and leverage expertise and logistics resources, with the ultimate goal of "Supporting the Government of Gabon in the conservation and long term management of biodiversity in the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas for the benefit of its populations and the global community".

Two core services", the research station and visitor's Information and outreach services have been identified.

Other on-going WWF initiatives with the private sector in the Gamba Complex: Loango Park guiding service; a partnership between the Park authorities and a local NGO
An additional long term solution which WWF has catalysed is a park guiding service which park authorities have outsourced to the local NGO, Ibonga. This guiding service, with initial funding from the EU-sponsored PSVAP and WWF, accompanied by a Visitor's Interpretive/Guiding Centre, will serve as the entry point into Loango South National Park.

Visitors are informed about different options for wildlife observations, canoe trips and forest hikes. This way they get a chance to explore the local culture, including handicraft demonstrations, and support the local NGO's guiding staff, through guiding fees and donations.

As a solution, this service, which allows Ibonga to manage its highly trained eco-guides and the Visitor's Centre, will not only contribute to sustainable funding for the park, but also to the future of a growing local NGO and its staff.

Also, in 2004, WWF developed a partnership between Loango National Park and a local eco-tourism lodge, in which WWF contributes to the running of a generator which provides electricity to both the lodge and the Park HQs.

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