The Ministry of Forest Economy executes national policy regarding sustainable development, forest economy and the environment. In 2010, African Parks signed its first public-private management agreement with the ministry for Odzala- Kokoua National Park. In 2020, an amendment to the agreement was signed with the minister, Madame Rosalie Matondo, adding the Lossi Gorilla Sanctuary to the protected area and creating the Odzala-Kokoua-Lossi Foundation as the management entity. Under the ministry, African Parks works with the Congolese Agency for Wildlife and Protected Areas (ACFAP in French), which is represented by its Director-General, Jean Bosco Nganongo.
The European Union (EU)
The EU has been a crucial long-standing partner of African Parks, working together towards joint conservation and development objectives in central Africa. Since 2005, this partnership has helped create areas of stability in a volatile region and attract additional funding and partners. The EU’s support has been critical in managing large landscapes, namely Garamba National Park and its periphery, Chinko Conservation Area, Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve, the Greater Zakouma Ecosystem, Odzala- Kokoua National Park, and W National Park in Niger. Through improved management of these ecologically important landscapes; striving towards safety and security for people and wildlife; and strengthening opportunities in green sectors, we will continue to work towards our common goals, in alignment with the EU’s NaturAfrica initiative.
An ambitious new financing instrument, the LLF aims to protect the world’s most outstanding natural places and close the funding gap for biodiversity conservation in the Global South. It is a joint initiative by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW Development Bank (KfW), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Campaign for Nature (CfN), Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The LLF provides financing for a period of 15 years to protected areas, with a long-term, flexible programme approach, in partnership with a philanthropic partner who provides match-funding of US$1m a year for the first five years. LLF funding commences from year six at the same rate for a further 10 years. Two protected areas managed by African Parks are among the pilot sites receiving funding from the LLF: Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo and Iona National Park in Angola.
Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF)
The Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF) – a joint initiative of Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network, the ECF is a flexible and responsive fund that supports the best efforts ofthe most trusted organisations globally, working to secure a future for elephant in Africa. Since 2015, the ECF has not only contributed more than US$4.7m to African Parks, but also expertise on best practices in elephant conservation. This has benefitted critical surveillance, intelligence-based protection, and human-elephant conflict mitigation activities for some of our most threatened elephant populations.
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.
A Dutch foundation, DOB Ecology believes that strong and healthy ecosystems are vital ingredients for life, wellbeing, 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 multiyear partnership between DOB Ecology and African Parks revolves around intelligence-based conservation in Odzala-Kokoua National Park.
Rob Walton Foundation
The RWF supports initiatives that advance its founder’s passion for environmental conservation and creative coalition building. Rob Walton has been an invaluable partner to African Parks since 2003, providing support to safeguard the long-term survival of parks and wildlife across the continent. In 2021, operating as the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation, the RWF made a transformational US$100m 5-year commitment, the largest endowment gift in African Parks’ history. Portions of the Foundation’s annual contributions have supported the reintroduction of species such as lion and black rhino to Akagera National Park, as well as sparked matching grants to Iona and Odzala-Kokoua, in conjunction with the Legacy Landscapes Fund.
Stichting Natura Africae
A charitable foundation established in 2017 by Jan Verhagen, a Dutch entrepreneur, Natura Africae is dedicated to the conservation of national parks and protected areas in Africa, recognising the reciprocal relationship between the livelihoods of local communities and the successful protection of an ecosystem’s wildlife. The Foundation provided €4,75m in 2022, supporting park operations in Liuwa Plain, Odzala-Kokoua, Matusadona, Nyungwe and Ennedi. The grant also provided catalytic funding to strengthen African Parks’ organisational costs and institutional platform.
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.
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.
World Rhino Day
Sign up to see how African Parks is rewilding 2,000 rhinos