Environment & Climate ChangeNews

A Third Of Gabon’s Elephants Killed By Poachers Within The Last 15 Years

Poaching in Gabon has taken a disquieting turn for the worst during the last several years with the elephant population in the country mostly hard hit.

According to Lee White, the country’s Minister of Forestry and Water, “We have just noticed the escalation of the problem with the loss of one third of our elephants through poaching within the last fifteen years”.

The minister who was speaking during a session of the national assembly recently revealed that this phenomenon has forced most of the elephants in the country to migrate towards human residential areas causing conflict between man and animal.

The conflicts between man and animal corresponds to a situation where the activities of groups of humans and wild animals enter into competition, perturbing the different ways and according to different degrees of intensity, the conditions of existence of the two parties.

In order to limit these conflicts, the government of Gabon has launched an ambitious project for the construction of electric barriers in the villages allowing for the security of the farms of over one thousand families.

To date, according to the Ministry of Forestry and Water, the country counts 13 of such barriers located in four provinces, namely Ogooue-Ivindo, Estuare, Ogooue-Maritime and Nyanga.

Government’s ambition, according to Lee White, is to increase the construction of electric barriers in 2021.

“A budget line of one billion FCFA (about US$2 million) dedicated to this problem has been included in the state budget of 2021,” the minister revealed.

“This financing would permit us to construct 25 supplementary lines which would attenuate the situation and ensure the food security of more persons.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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