More Governments in West Africa Practicing the Conservation Standards

Story from Anne Ntongho, CCNet Africa co-leader 

Since 2002, the Parks and Reserves Agency of Ivory Coast (Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves (OIPR)) has been managing a network of 8 national parks and 6 reserves in order to preserve and enhance biological diversity and maintain ecological processes. The foundation of OIPR supports programs in 8 protected areas where results are essential to ensuring sustainable funding. To achieve results, several planning, management, and evaluation tools and approaches have been used. These have generally focused on management functions, instead of conservation targets; this can strongly influence the achievement and capitalization of results. Hoping to improve, the foundation of OIPR Board of Directors, in collaboration with the Agency of OIPR Directorate General, requested technical support from conservation coaches in Central Africa in using the Conservation Standards to manage conservation projects and programs. The five-day training in February in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, had 95 participants. More than 90% of the expected results were achieved, and 98% of the participants understood and were satisfied with the training modules. With this training, OIPS agents now have the capacity to integrate the Conservation Standards into their strategies for the protected area network of Ivory Coast. In fact, training led to draft strategic plans for the Banco, Comoé, and Taï National Parks. This gives us great hope for effective future use of the Conservation Standards in Ivory Coast.  

Photo credits: WWF Cameroon (Anne Ntongho / Jaap Van der Waarde).