GEF: Ensuring a world where elephants aren’t the next dinosaurs



On August 12, we celebrate World Elephant Day to raise awareness on the plight of the world’s elephant population. This is an important day for me, as the Program Manager of the Global Wildlife Program (GWP) that started two years ago to combat illegal wildlife trade across 19 countries in Asia and Africa. Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) with a grant of $131 million, the GWP is a global partnership on wildlife conservation & crime prevention for sustainable development.



Several of the GWP’s national projects identify elephants as their priority species, and have activities that range from reducing the poaching and trafficking of elephants to reducing the demand for ivory. By tackling the threats that are specific to each country, the GWP ensures that elephants have safe and secure land to move in, that they are away from communities with whom they share resources to avoid conflict, and that those engaged in illegal wildlife trade are prosecuted by improving evidence collection and intelligence gathering.

GWP country projects working to save elephants: some highlights




In Mozambique, the GWP project with a grant of $15.8 million from GEF, will be implemented by UNDP and executed by the National Agency for Conservation Areas (ANAC) under the Ministry of Land, the Environment and Rural Development (MITADER), the Gorongosa Restoration Project (GRP), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).



An important site of the Mozambique GWP project is the Niassa National Reserve (NNR)—the largest protected area in the country covering over 42,000 square kilometers. NNR is the most important elephant range in Mozambique, with 42% of the national elephant population (4,441 elephants). It also harbors populations of lion, leopard, wild dog, sable, kudu, wildebeest and zebra.



The elephant population is contiguous with the southern Tanzanian elephant population—together they were the world’s second largest elephant population, although poaching has probably reduced this status to third or fourth. Since 2012, the NNR has been co-managed by ANAC and WCS to ensure that habitat loss, poaching and illegal activities are curbed and that the 40 villages in the reserve have alternative livelihoods for local development. These agencies also employ park rangers to patrol the reserve. However, there is a lack of financial resources to support the rangers in a war against the poachers.



Park rangers risk their lives every day when they patrol, sometimes unarmed, to face members of criminal networks that make the work that they do seem futile, as you can see in this video trailer produced by GWP video specialist, Raul Gallego Abellan. He is a video journalist, previously, a war reporter who decided two years ago to use his knowledge and inter-personal skills to tell the story of our planet’s endangered species in an effort to save them through photo journalism and videography.



Go back


UN-International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, 16 September

"For over three decades, the Montreal Protocol has done much more than shrink the ozone hole; it has shown us how environmental governance can respond to science, and how countries can come together to address a shared vulnerability. I call for that same spirit of common cause and, especially, greater leadership as we strive to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and mobilize the ambitious climate action we so urgently need at this time." UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Read more …

6th edition of the Africa Agri Forum: Confirm your registration!

The 6th edition of the Africa Agri Forum will be taking place for the second year in a row in Libreville, from 24 to 25 October to cement Gabon’s central place as an emerging hub of agriculture in the region.

Read more …

sep2d-International symposium “Plant biodiversity and sustainable development”

The international symposium is open to the entire scientific community (especially promoters of SED2D-backed projects) and actors in the management and valuing of plant biodiversity, subject to prior mandatory registration (free) and depending on the symposium’s seating capacity . Those who wish  to make a presentation must sign up for one of the thematic sessions listed below. Presentations can be either take the form of an oral presentation or a poster (A0 format) which can be presented in plenary along with a 2 min pitch

Read more …

Ministry of Environment, Water and Fisheries, Chad: Wildlife rangers of the Forest and Wildlife Guard come under attack - Seven (07) elephant carcasses found

Dozens of heavily armed poachers on horseback attacked wildlife rangers of the Forest and Fauna Guard (GFF) stationed in the Binder-Lere Wildlife reserve. Seven (07) elephant carcasses were found throughout the reserve by GFF wildlife rangers tracking the poachers. The poachers came from Cameroon.


Read more …

Law enforcement officials brush up on African wildlife crime investigating skills

Brazzaville-Republic of Congo, 28 July- 1st August 2019. Two multi-institutional capacity building workshops on investigations into wildlife crimes were held for law enforcement officers at the Mikhael’s Hotel.

Read more …

OCFSA and Lusaka Agreement close ranks to fight wildlife crime in Central Africa

Signing of MoU (Collaboration Agreement) OCFSA- Luska Agreement on the sidelines of two multi-institutional capacity building workshops for law enforcement officials on wildlife crime investigation held from 28 July to  01 August 2019 in Brazzaville (Congo).

Read more …

JIPA 2019: REPALEAC promotes linguistic and cultural diversity among DRC’s indigenous pygmy populations

On the sidelines of the celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (JIPA 2019), the Indigenous Peoples’ Network for Forest Ecosystem Management (REPALEF) held a press briefing on 9 August 2019 in the Arche Room in Kinshasa, Gombe The main item on the agenda was the launch of the month’s activities focusing on indigenous peoples’ across the DRC.

Read more …

COMIFAC Guidelines on monitoring forest-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): document drafting underway

Douala, Cameroon, 24-25 July 2019: The sub-region’s experts met to review the content and form of the COMIFAC Guide on monitoring forest-related Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive


GEF Newsletter | June 2019
The Cafi Dialogues
Forest Watch April 2019
Forest Watch March 2019