Djéké Triangle incorporated into Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in Northern Congo
Collaboration between Olam Agri, Wildlife Conservation Society & Congolese government achieves major conservation milestone
The Djéké Triangle, a pristine 9,500 hectares forest area in northern Congo has been integrated into the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, through the collaborative efforts of Olam Agri, the Congolese government and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
The Nouabale-Ndoki National Park was created in 1993 and first experienced an expansion in 2012 when Olam Agri offered part of its Kabo concession (the Goualougo Triangle, with an area of more than 25,000 ha) to be integrated into the park. With the addition of the Djeke Triangle, the park now covers a total of 433,400 hectares and is home to a diverse range of species, including forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, and other endangered species. The area is crucial for the survival of many indigenous communities that depend on the forest for their livelihoods.
Since studies were carried out at the end of the 1990s, Olam Agri has considered that this important area should be conserved for its biological diversity. The process, which originally commenced in 2005 with the Ministry of Forest Economy and the WCS, involved consultations with local communities, scientific surveys and assessments of the area's ecological importance. The Congolese government played a crucial role in the project's success by providing legal frameworks, policies, and regulations, as well as resources and support to local communities to enable them to participate in the conservation effort.
Local communities were a significant contributor to the project's success. Their participation and involvement were critical to the project's sustainability, as they are the primary stewards of the forest. WCS played a leading role by providing technical support, scientific expertise and funding, working closely with the government and local communities to ensure that the project was sustainable and aligned with the local cultural practices.
“The inclusion of the Djéké triangle into the park assures that this forest will remain intact in perpetuity. It not only provides protection for this area of high-integrity forest and its unique biodiversity, but also secures the customary rights of the communities to access and benefit from resources they depend on, such as honey and caterpillars,” explains WCS’s Ben Evans, the park’s management unit director.
After a long process we are proud to see the protection of this area guaranteed. This classification is the result of enormous efforts of scientific research and consultations with local communities to put in place management methods that are beneficial to all. We believe that sustainable and responsible forestry should consider all stakeholders and support different uses including conservation, eco-tourism and carbon conservation.
Vincent Istace -
Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Olam Agri
"This is an example to follow for the creation and extension of protected areas in the region, which must be done with the best interests of the country, its inhabitants and its wildlife at heart," commented the Minister of Forest Economy, H.E. Ms. Rosalie Matondo.
Olam Agri’s wood products’ subsidiary, Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB), in the Republic of Congo manages around 2.1 million hectares of owned concessions of which around 1.8 million hectares are certified.