Support to rural communities of the Gamba protected area

Created in 1992, the French Committee of the IUCN is the network of organisms and experts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in France. It brings together in a unique partnership 2 ministries, 13 public organisms, 41 non-governmental organizations and more than 250 experts grouped in specialized commissions and in thematic working groups. Through this diverse composition, it is a unique platform for dialogue and expertise on biodiversity issues, associating local communities and companies as well. The French Committee of the IUCN has two main missions: provide answers to biodiversity issues in France and bring forward French expertise abroad.

The Small-Scale Initiatives Programme

Since 2006, the Small-Scale Initiatives (SSI) programme, financed by the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and managed by the French Committee of the IUCN, supports civil society’s organizations from Sub-Saharan Africa engaged in the preservation of biodiversity and the fight against climate change by financing small-scale projects. In 10 years, this programme financed 181 projects in 28 countries in Central and Western Africa and in Madagascar.

The project is located in the Gamba protected area complex (11320 km2), which is comprised of the National parks of Loango (153 000ha) and of Moukalaba – Doudou (502 000ha). In this zone, the NGO Ibonga has already implemented actions which took the form of environmental education campaigns, structuration of tourists’ reception in Sette Cama and the development of handicraft in a hut called Mafubu. The population, with no job prospects in the declining oil industry, turn to economic activities like poaching and illegal fishing, hence Ibonga’s determination to continue its awareness raising activities, research on turtles and bringing forward of handicraft which can contribute to protecting fragile and unique ecosystems.

Main achievements :

  • Four phases of the conservation caravan are organized involving around 5000 people;
  • Two 15 days nature trips are organized for around 60 primary and middle school students at the periphery of the Loango and Moukalaba-Doudou National Parks;
  • New diverse awareness raising tools (documentaries, comics, puppet theatre, etc.) are distributed to 3 cities and more than 20 villages as well as in their schools ;
  • 16 radio programmes are broadcasted in the Gamba local radio reaching at least 8000 listeners ;
  • An artisanal hut is used as an awareness raising space and welcomes 200 people/month thus 2400 people/year.


For more information:

Contact :

French Committee of the IUCN
Musée de l'Homme                                                                              
17, place du Trocadéro
75016 PARIS

Level of education: 
Wider public