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CAWHFI component co-financed by the United Nation Foundation

CAWHFI’s first component focused its action on the improvement of the management of the Sangha Trinational, Gamba-Mayumba-Conkouati and Dja-Odzala-Minkebe Trinational transborder landscapes, so as to significantly decrease the poaching pressure affecting them. Prepared in collaboration with three conservation NGOs, the management services of wildlife and of the protected areas of the four States Parties (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo and Gabon), and the FAO, the project document was approved in March 2003 by the United Nations Foundation. The first field activities of this component began in 2004. Co-financed up to 50% by the United Nations Foundation, this US $ 6.6 million project obtained the other half of its funding from the direct contributions of the NGOs implementing this project.
ObjectiveResults

Objective 1
Improve the management of selected protected areas of potential Outstanding Universal Value.

The project contributed to strengthening the capacities of the conservation services’ staff in the three CAWHFI landscapes. The surveillance and the law enforcement monitoring have been improved and the transborder cooperation has deepened.

Objective 2
Improve natural resource management, particularly of wildlife, in the forest landscape around selected protected areas of Outstanding Universal Value.

Local authorities, judicial and police, have been made aware of the importance of sustainable management for natural resources and have become more involved in anti-poaching activities, in collaboration with the sites’ managers.

Objective 3
Use World Heritage status to improve biodiversity conservation and protected area management in the Congo Basin.

The Tentative Lists of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo and Gabon have been updated. Mechanisms for sustainable funding of the CAWHFI Initiative have been developed.

Implementation of the Central African World Heritage Initiative’s component financed by the United Nations Foundation reached a satisfactory outcome overall. A central element of this component was the strengthening of the transborder cooperation at the level of the three landscapes. This cooperation notably took the form of collaboration for research, the implementation of joint monitoring mechanisms, the development of regional ecotourism, the harmonization of legislation and concerted planning of projects for the three sites. The success of this first component is equally linked to the landscape approach, in step with the Convergence Plan of the Central African Forests Commission and the regional strategies for conservation. Furthermore, from a regional point of view, the adoption of the Yaounde Declaration allowed for the implementation of a large partnership for conservation between the financial and technical partners, within the framework of the Partnership for the Congo Basin Forests. Finally, the field experience, expertise and involvement of the partner-conservation NGOs was key in achieving this component’s objectives.