Gabon’s President is committed to preserving Gabon’s natural heritage, which he demonstrated by burning Gabon’s ivory stocks in April 2012, and engaging high political buy-in to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. On-the-ground efforts by the national agencies, principally the National Parks Authority (ANPN) and Ministry for Water and Forests (MinEF) focus on controlling poaching and trafficking.
WCS Gabon has three main areas where we support these efforts.
■ Reinforce anti-poaching teams: We assist the Ministry of Water and Forests anti-poaching teams in areas outside of protected areas.
■ Detect poaching and trafficking: A number of techniques are used and integrated with the day-to-day anti-poaching operations of government agencies. They include surveillance flyovers, remote camera traps, acoustic traps and sniffer dogs. WCS works with a number of partners to develop new techniques for the rapid detection and communication that is adapted to this environment.
■ Monitoring of law enforcement: Monitoring and evaluation of anti-poaching is important to better plan and deploy future anti-poaching efforts. WCS works to develop and introduce practical monitoring techniques, and provide the in-country capacity through training. SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) is one such tool, a geo-referenced data-base of anti-poaching patrols with standard indices of effort and illegal activities. This has been adopted across all of Gabon’s National Parks, and also by the Ministry for Water and Forests. WCS manages the quality control in data collection and management, and regularly assesses the National Park Authority’s and Ministry’s surveillance efforts and results.