Gabon is home to an abundance of natural resources, with 85 percent of the country covered in forests. Over the last several decades, exports of oil and mineral resources such as manganese have allowed the country to grow its economy while preserving its tropical forests. These vast, intact forests offer tremendous opportunities for ecotourism and conservation initiatives in the country.
Gabon is currently trying to diversify its economy, aiming to develop competitive manufacturing and service sector industries that complement the dominant oil sector. Achieving these national development goals will require new transportation, water, energy, and communications infrastructure, increasing pressure on Gabon’s natural resources. Despite these challenges, Gabon’s leadership is committed to achieving sustainable economic development while minimizing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. Forest Service supports the Gabonese National Parks Agency (ANPN) as it works to develop and implement national park management plans in areas with high and unique biodiversity. The U.S. Forest Service provides technical assistance to strengthen the ability of park managers to manage and improve ecotourism infrastructure and facilities in several national parks with the aim of generating sustainable revenue and supporting local livelihoods.
Through support to Conservation Justice, a local non-governmental organization, the U.S. Forest Service is also working to reduce illegal logging activities by providing trainings for prosecutors, judges, and investigation teams at the provincial level. These trainings are centered on how to carry out investigations into suspected illegal logging activities, how to build comprehensive cases, and how to prosecute offenders.
learn more about our work in Gabon
The U.S. Forest Service activities in Gabon are a part of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) and the U.S. Department of State’s and USAID’s Illegal Logging Program implemented in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice.