Human/Elephant Conflict: ANPN and Olam Palm Gabon sign an innovative agreement


Griffin Ondo Nzuey, Gabon Review

Date Published

Translated from the French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for the French original.

See link for photo. 

On June 27, the National Agency for National Parks (ANPN) and Olam Palm Gabon (OPG) signed a Scientific and Technical Cooperation Agreement for a study to be conducted over the next three years, the results of which will make it possible to resolve the conflict between humans and elephants in many localities of the country. An innovative project in this area in Gabon.

Represented by Auguste Roger Bibaye and Christian Tchemambela, respectively president of the management committee and executive secretary, the ANPN signed Monday in Libreville an important agreement with Olam Palm Gabon represented for the occasion by its vice-presidents Gabriel Ntougou and Quentin Meunier. 

This is a scientific and technical agreement for innovative cooperation for a total amount of 160 million FCFA made available by the subsidiary of the Olam Gabon Group, says the Agency.

Over the next three years, the two partners will conduct a scientific study combining several techniques (genetics, GPS collars and camera traps) in order to learn more about the ecology of pachyderms living at the interface between forests and agricultural areas and which regularly cause damage, including human deaths in several localities of the country. 

The ambition of the ANPN and Olam Palm Gabon is therefore to put an end to the ongoing Human/Elephant conflict.

To do this, it is said, in the provinces of Ngounié and Moyen-Ogooué where Olam Palm Gabon operates, it will be necessary to identify forest elephants using DNA samples and track them through GPS collars and camera traps. 

The DNA samples, which will be analyzed in the ANPN genetics laboratory in Libreville, will identify the profile of pachyderms visiting the crops. Researchers and technicians will analyze the movements of these elephants in order to anticipate their behavior, and therefore optimize conflict prevention measures. 
The results of this study should therefore lead to concrete measures to better manage human/elephant conflicts.

According to recent studies conducted by the ANPN and its partners, the number of forest elephants in Gabon is estimated at 95,000. 

While these protected animals play a key role in maintaining natural forest ecosystems, they can also be dangerous for villagers whose crops they regularly devastate. Industrial facilities are not spared, hence the intervention in this project of the Olam Gabon Group.