• Anti-poaching
  • Environmental Education

Reducing illegal bushmeat commerce in the Bas Ogooué of Gabon

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. Reducing illegal bushmeat commerce in the Bas Ogooué of Gabon

The Bas Ogooué Ramsar Site, (862,700 hectares), is the largest wetland of international importance in Gabon. The forests and waterways of the Bas Ogooué are home to important populations of African forest elephant, (Loxodonta africana, VU), African manatee, (Trichechus senegalensis, VU), hippopotamus, (Hippopotamus amphibius, VU), chimpanzee, (Pan troglodytes, EN), western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla, CR), slender-snouted, (Mecistops cataphractus, CR), and African dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus tetraspis, VU) and other species. Illegal bushmeat trade threatens wildlife including some of the last remaining populations of slender-snouted crocodiles, hippos, African manatees, and African forest elephants.

 

The NGO Organization Ecotouristique du Lac Oguemoué, (OELO), was created in 2010 by an american and a gabonese willing to lead programs in ecotourism, environmental education, sustainable fishing, community outreach and biodiversity research in the lake region of Gabon. Since OELO’s outreach and education work, began in 2012, a dramatic decline in protected species openly for sale at the market has been recorded. However, illegal bushmeat is still commonly offered in market side restaurants, where the NGO will focus efforts for this upcoming project.

 

This project seeks to protect wildlife of the Bas Ogooué Ramsar Site threatened by illegal bushmeat trade by changing consumer preferences for bushmeat from protected species and to mobilize a next generation of environmental stewards, by decreasing supply of illegal bushmeat by targeting in organizing vendors into a restaurant cooperative of traditional foods and by strengthening collaboration with community and law enforcement partners to better inform the public and encourage protected species laws application.