A biological hotspot of global importance situated in the heart of the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, harbouring critically endangered western lowland gorillas, elusive forest elephants and over 440 bird species.
Video: ©Bradley Stephenson
Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Congo is one of Africa’s oldest national parks; designated in 1935 and receiving Biosphere Reserve status in 1977. Covering an expansive 13,546 km2 area, Odzala-Kokoua lies in the heart of the Congo Basin, the second largest rainforest in the world after the Amazon. The Congo Basin spans more than two million square kilometres across six countries, and accounts for 18% of the world's remaining rainforest. Humans have occupied the area for over 50,000 years, yet it is still one of the most biologically diverse and species-rich areas on the planet, while the basin delivers clean water, food and shelter to more than 75 million people.
In 2010, African Parks entered into a 25-year-long agreement with the Republic of the Congo’s Ministry of Forest Economy, Sustainable Development and Environment to protect this globally significant park.
After ten years of successful management and recognizing Odzala-Kokoua’s ecological and socio-political value, the government reaffirmed our management agreement in 2020, strengthening our partnership for the remaining 15 years of its term and incorporating the Lossi Gorilla Sanctuary.
Lossi, a 380 km2 area situated to the South-West of Odzala-Kokoua, contributes to important wildlife corridors within the region. Both Odzala-Kokoua and Lossi form the Odzala-Kokoua-Lossi Foundation.
Together we are continuing to protect one of Africa’s most biodiverse landscapes, engaging with communities and ensuring natural resources are preserved for future generations. While bushmeat poaching remains a constant threat, our highly trained law enforcement unit, coupled with education and conservation-based community enterprise opportunities, has managed to stabilise illegal activity within the park. Odzala has become a light in the jungle, not only for its abundant and precious wildlife, but also for the people who are seeing the value in protecting this landscape.
We will continue to implement community development projects that invest in sustainable livelihood initiatives and natural resources. Odzala-Kokoua’s tourism and revenue generation is a priority to ensure the park’s long-term success. We also aim to ensure year-round road access to all park sectors and to provide specialised training to law enforcement staff for more effective protection of the park and Lossi.
Odzala-Kokoua National Park is managed by the Odzala-Kokoua-Lossi Foundation – a partnership between African Parks and the Congolese government. African Parks took over the management of Odzala-Kokoua in November 2010 under the terms of the partnership agreement with the Government of the Republic of Congo –with the addition of the Lossi Gorilla Sanctuary in 2020.Partners
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