The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage site recognised for the importance of its animal and plant biodiversity – and the renewed agreement, signed on 8 August 2021 in Pokola, Congo-Brazzaville, bolsters the effort to combat poaching in forestry concessions where CIB operates.
Signed in the presence of the Minister of Forestry Economy, Her Excellence Madam Rosalie Matondo, and the Minister of Preschool, Primary, Secondary Education and Literacy, His Excellence Mister Jean-Luc Mouthou, the innovative tripartite agreement was first signed in 1999 to mark the establishment of the PROGEPP (Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park Peripheral Ecosystems Management Project), which operates across three Forest Management Units (FMU).
The PROGEPP creates a crucial buffer zone that utilises eco-guards, biomonitoring and community collaboration to protect the park's wildlife population from illegal poaching.
These agreements are pioneering a conservation management model that brings public and private sector partners together to tackle the immediate threat of poaching and to protect endangered animals around Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park.
Created in 1993 with strong support from the WCS, Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park is a 4,000 km2 stronghold for critically endangered forest elephants and significant populations of chimpanzees and western lowland gorillas.
The PROGEPP initiative has established a protective corridor between Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park and the Lac Télé Community Reserve, which is on one of the world's most extensive peatlands and is critical to climate change mitigation.
“There is no single strategy to effectively halt biodiversity loss while improving people's lives. We are convinced that a forest conservation approach can only succeed if all stakeholders work together through a concerted effort. We are delighted to continue our partnership with WCS and the government of Republic of Congo to strengthen efforts to protect the endangered species and local biodiversity in this ecologically unique and significant region”, said Vincent Istace, Director, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, at CIB.