61 Gabonese eco-guards trained by the British military (Gabon)


Star Africa

Date Published
Translated from French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for original. Thank you to Anne Dillon for finding the article and doing the online translating.
Sixty-one Gabonese eco-guards were trained by the British Army team in the district of Mokéko, a military site located in the heart of Lope National Park in northeast Gabon, APA learned Monday, sources close to the Gabonese Ministry of National Defense said.
The training lasted five days and allowed the eco-guards, mostly police and military, to increase their operational capacities of national parks surveillance.
“The Gabon is part of the Congo Basin is the second lung of humanity after the Amazon. You understand that the eco-guards are therefore essential mission the safeguarding and protection of the ecosystem for better quality of life both at home and abroad,” said the defense minister Mathias Otounga Ossibadjouo last Saturday, at the closing of the training.
For its part, the British Ambassador to Gabon with residence in Yaoundé (Cameroon), Brian Olley welcomed this training session which provided the tools needed by eco-guards to carry out their missions.
Since 2010, the Gabonese authorities decided to send reinforcements, gendarmes and soldiers to support eco-guards of the National Agency of National Parks (ANPN), the structure responsible for managing 13 national parks.
Consisting of more than 80% forest, Gabon is a country in the Congo Basin which has the largest number of forest elephants estimated at 80,000.
The country became a new target of networks including the poachers from neighboring Cameroon.
In 10 years, more than 20,000 elephants were slaughtered in Gabon, says Professor Lee White, Chief ANPN, adding that 11,000 were killed in the only Minkébé Park in the north, on the border with Cameroon and Congo and about 10,000 others disappeared in the rest of the country.