Building peace in the minds of men and women

Mono Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, Benin / Togo

Located in the south-west of Benin and Togo, this site covers an area of 346,285 ha. Stretching across the alluvial plain and the delta and riverbank areas of the Mono River, it boasts a mosaic of landscapes and ecosystems consisting mainly of mangroves, savanna, lagoons, floodplains and forests, including sacred forests. The area covered by the reserve is home to nearly 2 million people and the main activities are small-scale agriculture (oil palm and coconut palms), pasture, forestry and fishing.

Designation date: 2017


Regional network:  

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 346,286 ha

    • Core area(s): 14,496 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 43,378 ha 
    • Transition zone(s): 288,412 ha

    Location: 6°34'29.6 N - 1°37'29.8 E

    Administrative Authorities

    Centre National de Gestion des Réserves de Faune (CENAGREF) in Benin; Direction des Ressources Forestières (DRF) in Togo 

    Kouassi Robert Noudehou
    Director-General of the Centre National de Gestion des Réserves de Faune (CENAGREF)

    08 BP 0227

    Tel.: +229 21380658 

    Email: and

    Website ǀ Facebook ǀ Twitter


    Ecological Characteristics

    Also recognized by the Ramsar Convention on Wetland Conservation, the Mono river delta on the border between Benin and Togo is home to many different species, some of which are critically endangered. The diverse landscape includes rivers, lakes, wetlands, savannahs, gallery forests, mangroves and beaches, and it provides a habitat to hippopotamuses, manatees, whales, red-bellied monkeys, as well as many varieties of waterfowls.

    The Biosphere Reserve also has various species that are endemic to the Dahomey Gap, such as the white-throated guenon (Cercopithecus eythrogaster), and critically endangered ones, like the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) and the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).




    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Most of the population earn a living from agriculture, fishing and foresting. The main challenges are the practice of extensive agriculture, overfishing and mining.

    Since the Biosphere Reserve was created, various projects has been carried out to promote ecotourism, particularly related to whale and dolphin-watching. However, the goal is to also increase cultural tourism, by promoting local festivals, such as Ekpé-ékpé (in Glidji-Kpodji, Togo), Nonvitcha (in Grand Popo, Benin) and Yèkè-yèkè. 

    The Biosphere Reserve management plan includes capacity-building and funding initiatives for innovation and sustainable development.


     Back to Biosphere Reserves in Benin
     Back to Biosphere Reserves in Togo
     Back to Biosphere Reserves in Africa 
     Back to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

    Last updated: October 2018