Gabon is a true haven for wildlife due to a history of relative isolation, which has left its major ecosystems mostly intact. Today, however, with threats increasing from industrial development, the country needs to find new conservation strategies that will ensure Gabon remains a haven for spectacular wildlife. Gabon’s national parks, established in 2002, are now the cornerstones of such conservation efforts. Much of WCS’ work has focused on supporting the National Park’s Authority and Ministry for Forests and Water, particularly on law enforcement and wildlife monitoring.
Forestry concessions blanket the remainder of the land outside of protected area, while mining, agriculture and rural infrastructure development is on the increase. Equally Gabon’s coastal and marine resources are under increasing pressure from industrial and artisanal fishing, not to mention oil exploration and extraction. WSC assists the relevant government bodies to develop and put in place systems whereby natural resource exploitation is in balance with Gabon’s sustainable development goals. A significant recent development has been the zoning of Gabon's entire marine space, that includes protected areas, community fishing and comercial fishing zones. We also work directly with the private sector to help them sustainably manage their concessions.