Ministry Of Forest Economy & Sustainable Development Of The Republic Of The Congo
The Ministry of Forest Economy and Sustainable Development has the task to execute national policy as defined by the President of the Republic of the Congo regarding sustainable development, forest economy, and the environment. We began our work with the Ministry in in 2010, when our first management agreement was signed for Odzala-Kokoua National Park and we are very proud to have seen additional protection of this unique landscape through the signing of a new management agreement with the Minister, Madame Rosalie Matondo, in 2020. Under the Ministry, African Parks works with Agence Congolais pour les Fôrets et les Aires Protégées (ACFAP), which is represented by its Director-General, Jean-Bosco Nganongo.
Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF)
The Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF), a joint initiative of Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network, is a flexible and responsive fund that supports the best efforts from the most trusted organisations across the world working to save elephants. Since 2015, the ECF has not only contributed more than US$3.4 million to African Parks, but also expertise on best practices in elephant conservation. This has benefited critical surveillance and intelligence-based protection for some of our most threatened elephant populations in Central, Southern and Western Africa.
The European Union (EU) has been a long-standing funder, first supporting our growth into Central Africa in 2005. Their investment over the years has helped create areas of stability in a volatile region, and has helped attract additional funding and partners. The EU has been critical in managing large landscapes namely the Garamba National Park and its periphery, the Chinko Conservation Area, the Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve, the Greater Zakouma Ecosystem and the Odzala-Kokoua National Park. Improved management of those ecological important landscapes through effective park management and governance, safety and security for people and wildlife in respect of their respective rights and opportunities in green sectors for local populations contribute to the EU NaturAfrica’ initiative.
World Wilidlife Fund (WWF) collaborates with local communities to conserve natural resources and build a future in which people and nature thrive. WWF works with partners at all levels to transform markets and policies toward sustainability, tackle the threats driving the climate crisis, and protect and restore wildlife and habitats. WWF has been collaborating with Odzala-Kokoua and WCS to reduce illegal wildlife exploitation and maximise benefits of wildlife corridors between Odzala-Kokoua, Nouabalé-Ndoki and Ntokou-Pikounda national parks.
Rob and Melani Walton Foundation
The mission of the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation is to elevate people, planet, and purpose by changing what people feel is possible and know is doable. The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation seeks partners who focus on the essential and interconnected elements of sustaining life, advancing all forms of knowledge, promoting understanding of healing, and increasing the sustainability of people and our planet. The Waltons have been invaluable partners to African Parks since 2003, providing support to safeguard the long-term survival of parks and wildlife across the continent. They supported the reintroduction of species such as lions and black rhinos to Akagera National Park, the development of evidence-based performance metrics, and our close collaboration with governments and communities to identify and share best practices.
Stichting Natura Africae
Stitching Natura Africae is a charitable foundation established by Jan Verhagen, a Dutch entrepreneur, in 2017. Natura Africae is dedicated to the conservation of national parks and protected areas in Africa, and recognises the reciprocal relationship between the livelihoods of local communities and the successful protection of an ecosystem’s wildlife. The foundation provided €4 million in 2020, continuing its long-term commitment to Liuwa Plain National Park and the Bangweulu Wetlands. It also supported community and research project in Odzala-Kokoua, and the start of operations in Iona National Park, Angola.
The U.S. Department of State
The U.S. Department of State, through both the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the Bureau of African Affairs (AF), advances good governance and peace and security, pre-requisites for sustainable economic development and protection of natural resources. They began providing support in 2018 and have committed over US$3 million for ranger uniforms, equipment and training for African Parks teams operating in Chad, Central African Republic, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo and Zambia. They have also supported leadership development and core training infrastructure, all of which leads to enhanced capacity to disrupt illegal wildlife trade and promote regional stability.
Nature+ is a Belgian non-profit organisation active in Africa since 2001. Its objective is to improve the sustainable management of natural resources by working closely with the various stakeholders involved, in particular with local communities on the periphery of protected areas. Nature+ implements participatory natural resource management actions and popularises agroforestry as a tool to reduce deforestation and promote local development. N+ works with a bottom-up approach, carrying out pilot experiments in the field with local communities, and capitalising on/disseminating the results obtained to decision-making levels in order to improve and adapt institutional and administrative frameworks to the realities on the ground. Finally, Nature+ includes conservation and management in the broadest sense of the term, from protected areas to certified forestry companies. Composed of forestry experts, N+ offers targeted interventions based on rigorous science. To this end, it works in close collaboration with the Tropical Forestry Laboratory of TERRA Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège, Belgium).
DOB Ecology believes that strong and healthy ecosystems are vital ingredients for life, well-being and sustainable development. The mission of DOB Ecology is to support partners that work to protect and restore threatened ecosystems and (re)build the conditions for resilient livelihoods of local communities. The partnership between DOB Ecology and African Parks consists of two parts: the development and protection of Odzala-Kokoua National Park and a fundamental innovation in park management and nature conservation - not only in this park and within African Parks, but also to be shared in the conservation community: the Conservation Performance Cycle. With the help of technology and strategically prioritized research, new knowledge and data is generated quickly and reliably, which can be directly linked to the operational work on the ground. In this way, impact and progress can be monitored much more effectively and interventions can be adjusted and readjusted to improve results. This approach will be applied in Odzala-Kokoua National Park but will eventually also be integrated into the management of other African parks. In addition, the experiences will be actively shared with others who are active in preserving and managing protected areas (including all DOB Ecology Partners).
WCS's goal is to conserve the world's largest wild places in 14 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the world's biodiversity. WCS has been collaborating with Odzala-Kokoua and WWF to reduce illegal wildlife exploitation and maximise benefits of wildlife corridors between Odzala-Kokoua, Nouabalé-Ndoki and Ntokou-Pikounda national parks.
The Arcus Foundation is a charitable foundation focused on issues related to LGBT rights, social justice and conservation. The Foundation believes that respect for diversity among peoples and in nature is essential to a positive future for our planet and all its inhabitants. Through its Great Apes & Gibbons Program, the Arcus Foundation aims to achieve conservation and respect for the great and small apes by ensuring that viable populations are protected from extinction and living in habitats that are managed sustainably and integrated with economic development objectives. Since 2018, the Foundation has been supporting Odzala-Kokoua National Park with the aim of safeguarding and monitoring gorillas and chimpanzees through population and health monitoring as well as anti-poaching and community engagement strategies.
The mission of the Bennink Foundation is to support organizations and initiatives that work to safeguard the planet today and pave the way for a better tomorrow. The Bennink Foundation has been supporting Odzala-Kokoua since 2019 and has played a pivotal role in the park’s decentralisation strategy – improving deployment capacities for research, community engagement and wildlife protection.
LLF was founded as an international foundation in Germany in 2020 to address the biodiversity financing gap by sourcing significant and sustained funding from both public and private donors, thus contributing to conserving biodiversity within a post-2020 framework under the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). LLF focuses on supporting professional partnerships between experienced NGOs and protected area authorities (or custodians of the land), as well as indigenous and local communities with the goal of managing terrestrial conservation areas effectively and sustainably. In 2020, LLF committed to a 15-year agreement with Odzala-Kokoua, a long-term partnership with a vision to bring significant benefits to local communities, authorities and the park as a whole.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) operates to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. USFWS have provided grants to support our anti-poaching programmes in Chinko, Garamba, Odzala-Kokoua, and Zakouma. In 2021 USFWS, alongside USAID, continued its support for Odzala-Kokoua, building on its 2017 continued support for our work in Garamba, Chinko, Zakouma and the Sangha Tri-National and Northern Congo Forest Landscapes.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) operates the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) with the aim of conserving the ecological integrity of the Congo Basin Forest for the benefit of local people and the global community. With their support, we are able to carry out the core protected area management of Garamba National Park, Chinko and Odzala-Kokoua. In addition, through USAID funding, African Parks in consortia with African Wildlife Foundation is improving community resilience and wildlife conservation in the Mbomou-Uele border region.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on addressing the world’s most pressing environmental issues. The GEF enables developing countries to invest in nature and funds initiatives related to five (5) thematic areas: Biodiversity conservation, Chemicals and waste, Climate change, International waters, and Land degradation – and takes an integrated approach to support more sustainable food systems, forest management, and cities. In June 2022, The GEF Council approved a US$7.2 million regional project to deploy EarthRanger ™ to improve the management of 4.9 million hectares of terrestrial Protected Areas (PAs) in The Republic of Congo, Botswana, and Mozambique, amid escalating threats of poaching, human-wildlife conflicts, and habitat loss. Funded by a US$ 2.4 million GEF Grant and US$ 4.8 million co-financing from partners, the 4 (2022-2026) Year project will be implemented in six African Protected Areas: the Republic of Congo's Odzala-Kokoua, Nouabalé-Ndoki, and Conkouati-Douli National Parks; Botswana’s Chobe National Park; Mozambique's Limpopo and Zinave National Parks.
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