Gabon's National Parks were created when world-famous conservationists, Mike Fay and Lee White, presented the large spatial extent of Gabon’s logging concessions in 2002 to the then President of Gabon, convincing him of the threats to the country’s incredible biological wealth. This illustrates the vital role that mapping and spatial planning plays in conservation, and the WCS Gabon program uses a broad range of spatial techniques to assist conservation in Gabon.
In recent years, GIS and spatial analyses have undergone a revolution, and WCS employs cutting-edge techniques in a number of spatial mapping and planning initiatives. Examples include: zoning the ocean for conservation priorities and fisheries management for the Gabon Bleu initiative, developing the Gabon Marine Biodiversity Atlas in collaboration with Exeter University and ANPN, and ecosystem services mapping in the Mbé watershed.
At the same time, our socio-economic teams have collected a vast body of spatial information on traditional land-uses by local communities. For communities in or near National Parks, data on hunting zones, sacred sites and traditional land uses are valuable for National Park management decisions, and for securing land-tenure rights.