Strengthening Protection of Salonga National Park’s Rich Biodiversity by Enhancing Park Operations and Infrastructure

Timeframe: 2022 - 2023
Country/Region: Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Partner: WWF

Salonga National Park is Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve located in the Congo River basin. While Salonga is home to a rich biodiversity, including forest elephants, bonobos, bongos, giant pangolins, and the indigenous Congo peacock, these species are threatened by poaching and wildlife trafficking, and the wildlife depletion is in turn affecting the lives and livelihoods of the people who depend on the region’s resources for their living.

Since 2015, our partner, WWF is co-managing Salonga National Park together with the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN – the Congolese national park authority). They work together with other partners to protect the park by reducing poaching and illegal trade of protected species, enhancing law enforcement, and improving livelihoods of the local communities.

The park is very isolated and accessible only by water and patrol capacity over its vast surface is currently stretched. Therefore, this project will enhance existing park operations by training and equipping rangers (called ecoguards) to fulfil their functions, by increasing the area covered by the patrols and by improving communications between Salonga National Park (SNP) headquarters and the ranger stations. The work will include the renewal of infrastructure at the Bekongo patrol post to develop it into a training centre for ecoguards as well as to host larger groups for patrolling purposes. The project will also procure additional means of transport (motorcycles and boats) to enable ecoguards easier and faster access to the whole park as well as individual ecoguards equipment to allow their efficient and professional deployment.