Rougier Gabon and Somivab sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Forests to set up a wildlife brigade in Koumameyong

On 1 March, Gabon's Ministry of Water and Forests, in collaboration with the NGO Conservation Justice, signed a memorandum of understanding with Rougier Gabon and Somivab to create a Wildlife Brigade. The task of this brigade will be to strenghten the fight against poaching and the illegal exploitation of natural resources in and around the concessions of the two companies.

Crédits : Rougier Gabon

Below is the press release issued by the MEF for the occasion.




Libreville, 1 March 2024 - The Ministry of Water and Forests, represented by Brigadier General Maurice Ntossui Allogo, in collaboration with the NGO Conservation Justice (CJ), represented by its Executive Director Luc Mathot, today signed two memorandums of understanding with the forestry companies Rougier Gabon and SOMIVAB Gabon. Luc Mathot, today signed two memorandums of understanding with the forestry companies Rougier Gabon and SOMIVAB, represented respectively by their Managing Directors Stéphane Jaffret and Andrea Rigoni, and with Gabon Advance Wood (GAW) and the Lékédi Biodiversité Foundation, represented by Sylvie Boldrini and Eric Willaume.

These memorandums of understanding form part of the forestry policy for the sustainable management of Gabon's forest ecosystems. These include the promotion of forest management certification systems, which require forest managers to conserve biological diversity (flora and fauna), among other things. The role of the wildlife brigades created is firstly to provide information, raise awareness and educate the public about the environment, followed by surveillance and the fight against illegal trafficking in natural resources.

These will last for two (2) years and will enable the Ministry to set up a framework for collaboration between the various stakeholders to combat poaching and illegal activities in the peripheral areas of the Ivindo and Minkebe National Parks, in the Rougier Gabon Forest Management Units (FMUs) located in Ogooué-Ivindo, as well as in the Compagnie Forestière des Abeilles (CFA) FMUs 1 and 2 and the GSEZ Temporary Management Agreements (CPAET) of Mvoung, Kouye and Touro, managed and exploited by SOMIVAB; and finally, on the outskirts of the Lékédi Park and the Gabon Advance Wood company's Ogooué FMU.

For the Minister of Water and Forests, the sustainable management of forests and wildlife are intrinsically linked, as the latter contributes to maintaining the ecological services of forests and the health of ecosystems: "Crimes against wildlife such as poaching and the illegal trafficking of animal species are threats both to the health of our forests and to the economic development and security of our nation", he declared.

Luc Mathot, Executive Director of the NGO Conservation Justice, explained the structure of the two wildlife brigades: "These are Public-Private Partnerships, financed in particular by the European Union and German cooperation (PPECF). Alone we go fast, together we go further. The issues surrounding the vast areas of forest involved extend beyond Gabon. Gabon's rich forest is not only useful for timber production, but also for the communities that need it for their daily needs. It is estimated that the Gabonese forest sequesters 140 million tonnes of CO2 every year, which is more or less equivalent to what is produced by 30 million cars".

Stéphane Jaffret, General Director of Rougier Gabon, said: "As a responsible forest manager, it is our responsibility to guarantee the integrity of the environment and the natural resources of the concessions we manage. This commitment is reflected in Axis 3 of our CSR policy, which requires us to work in synergy with our stakeholders to improve biodiversity and prevent its extinction.”


Download the press release

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