Human-Elephant Conflict: Gabon opts for a national database


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 photos.

Made possible thanks to A cfaf 5.4 billion in funding from the World Bank under the Global Environment Facility (GEF), it is a computer management system responsible for processing and storing information, survey results and field studies to resolve conflicts between humans and pachyderms across the country for years. The launch of this platform presented as a decision support tool took place on Wednesday, March 23, in Libreville.

Are we approaching the end of the Human-Elephant conflict in Gabon? At the executive secretariat of the National Parks Agency (ANPN) where the “GeFaCHE” (Management of Wildlife and Human-Elephant Conflicts) project is being piloted, we are convinced that the phenomenon should be much less significant in a few years thanks to the National Database of Natural Resources and Conflicts Between Man and Pachyderm, the launch of which was carried out on Wednesday 23 March during an official ceremony in Libreville. This new tool is presented as “an IT management system where information, survey and study data are processed and stored”.

Financed by the World Bank (CFAF 5.4 billion) through GeFaCHE, this platform aims to propose ways to mitigate Human/Wildlife Conflicts (CHF). It thus appears as “a decision-making tool” that will make it possible to know the areas most affected by CHF, to have more precise information on the animals incriminated, the frequency and the most recurrent type of conflict, says Dr. Larissa Moukagni, expert in Human-Elephant conflict.

“The database of natural resources will help in the deployment of measures such as administrative beatings, erection of electric fences. It will also make it possible to schedule, if necessary, a compensation operation following the destruction of crops by animals, in particular elephants,” says the expert. The ANPN says it is now in possession of a tool allowing the authorities to benefit from a reliable means supposed to ensure better traceability of information related to complaints from populations victims of devastation of their crops or even their habitats.

Electric Fences as a Solution

In the search for solutions related to the human-elephant conflict, the preservation of the pachyderm appears to be one of the priorities. Especially since “the elephant is a fully protected species in Gabon because of the preponderant role it plays in maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystem in which it lives. Its protection is therefore vital for the conservation of our natural resources”, defends Christian Tchemambela recalling that it was in 2016 that the government opted for the construction of electric fences.

For the executive secretary of the ANPN, “this solution makes it possible to alleviate the suffering of our compatriots in the face of the devastation of their plantations by the pachyderm. The DGFAP and the ANPN have already built 16 electric fences on the national territory. The Ministry of Water and Forests aims to build another 30 by 2023.”