Capacity-building in Gabon to Conserve Migratory Waterbirds

Bonn, 6 March 2017 - Gabon has completed a project aiming to enhance technical and operational capacity to support the survey and monitoring of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the country.  This project which lasted 16 months was led by the Gabon Ministry of Water and Forests, through the Directorate General for Wildlife and Protected Areas, under the 2013 cycle of the AEWA Small Grants Fund (SGF).

The International Waterbird Census (IWC), coordinated by Wetlands International, provides important data which allows the monitoring and assessment of the status of populations of migratory waterbirds, including species covered by AEWA.  Initiated in Gabon for the first time in 1999, the IWC has been conducted at irregular intervals because of the very limited resources – human, financial and material.

In an attempt to solve this problem, a training workshop was organized in Libreville in January 2015 as part of the project.  The workshop targeted 35 technical experts involved in the national waterbird census, among whom were eco-guards from four national parks (Pongara, Akanda, Loango and Mayumba) as well as volunteers.   Using the relevant training tool of the French National Hunting and Wildlife Office (ONCFS), the workshop provided the trainees with an in-depth knowledge of the different techniques for identifying and counting waterbird species.  The theoretical training was followed by a field trip to the Akanda National Park, which allowed the trainees to apply their newly acquired skills in practice.

Another important outcome of this project was the setting up of an interactive national database, which will enable the status of waterbirds and their habitats to be monitored henceforward.  Moreover, some optical and IT equipment, indispensable for effective monitoring of migratory waterbirds, has been acquired in the framework of the project.

The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat wishes to congratulate the Directorate General for Wildlife and Protected Areas for having brought the project to a successful conclusion.

For further information about this project, please contact Mr Félicien Joël Bodinga, Director General of Aquatic Ecosystems and AEWA National Focal Point of Gabon or Ms Alphonsine Koumba Mfoubou, Project Coordinator and National IWC Coordinator for Gabon.


About the AEWA Small Grants Fund:

The AEWA Small Grants Fund (SGF) is a source of financial support aimed at promoting the implementation of the Agreement in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. So far, it had focused exclusively on the African region. The Fund entered into operation in 2010 and since then has supported 14 conservation projects from 14 African countries, for example in the fields of species and habitat conservation, training and awareness-raising of different target groups, the survey and monitoring of species and sites and livelihood-related activities.  For further information about the AEWA Small Grants Fund, please see the AEWA website.

Last updated on 06 March 2017

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