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Re: [Gabon Discussion] Lekedi Park

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  • C Yombi
    Bob, Thanks for keeping us informed about these important developments in the future of Gabon s emerging eco-tourist industry and environmental saving grace -
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 23, 2003
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      Bob,
      Thanks for keeping us informed about these important developments in the
      future of Gabon's emerging eco-tourist industry and environmental saving
      grace - the park system. I guess as bad as Bongo can be, he is leaving a
      promising future for the next generation at least as far as the forests are
      concerned. Let's just hope Gabon continues down the right track.

      Carol

      >From: "bobutne" <bobutne@...>
      >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [Gabon Discussion] Lekedi Park
      >Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 13:25:47 -0000
      >
      >Bakouma - Gabon is turning a former industrial facility - a gigantic
      >76km cableway that once carried manganese ore to Atlantic ports for
      >export to world markets - into Africa's most unusual nature reserve.
      >
      >The Lekedi park, close to Gabon's southern border with the Republic
      >of Congo, is a larger-than-life experiment in preserving the
      >environment while providing a living to local inhabitants through
      >agricultural production and tourism.
      >
      >From the 1960s to the early 1990s, about 1 800 people worked here
      >maintaining the cableway, which carried the ore from mines at Moanda
      >to the Congolese town of M'Binda. From there, the ore was taken by
      >rail to the Congolese port of Pointe-Noire.
      >
      >But the opening of the 800km trans-Gabon railroad made the cableway
      >redundant. Since 1986, the manganese ore, which is used in the
      >production of steel, batteries and ceramics, has been taken straight
      >to port in the capital, Libreville.
      >
      >This left the mining company, Comilog, with the problem of what to do
      >with the old cableway and the rain forest it traverses.
      >
      >"After a lot of thought, Comilog came up with a project to preserve
      >the environment, allied with development of agricultural production
      >and tourism," said Olivier Dosimont, the operations director.
      >
      >"It was a long and difficult process. We started by fencing off the
      >entire 14 000ha of the park. Our idea was to encourage the extensive
      >breeding of big game and protect it from poachers."
      >
      >This policy has met with varying degrees of success.
      >
      >Imported animals such as impalas and antelopes have not flourished,
      >but local species are doing well, including buffalo, wildebeest and
      >harnessed bushbucks.
      >
      >The park has also become a home for the world's largest and most
      >colourful monkeys, the mandrills with their faces of brilliant red
      >and white.
      >
      >Mandrills, which are increasingly endangered with the human invasion
      >of the rain forest, are found in the wild only in Gabon, the Congo
      >and Cameroon. Gorillas have also established a foothold in the Lekedi
      >park.
      >
      >Comilog also sought to find other jobs for about 100 employees of the
      >old cableway who have remained on the site. A former engineer is in
      >charge of fish-farming, and another raises mushrooms.
      >
      >The fish farm provides about 45% of the income of Sodepal, the
      >subsidiary company set up to run the park.
      >
      >The company also has experimented with the breeding of large rodents
      >called aulacodes, which are related to the porcupine and are
      >considered a tasty dish in West Africa, and is encouraging the
      >development of traditional crafts such as pottery and raffia weaving.
      >
      >"We are trying to teach people the advantages of rearing animals over
      >hunting them," Dosimont said. "But nature is generous and the idea is
      >slow in catching on."
      >
      >Despite all these activities, the park still makes a loss. Dosimont
      >says that if air fares were lower, more tourists - which is what the
      >park really needs - would be encouraged to come to Gabon.
      >
      >http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/Features/0,,2-11-
      >37_1405587,00.html
      >
      >

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    • bobutne
      Thanks Carol. As President Bongo is reaching his twilight years, he appears more concerned with his legacy. Accumulating power and wealth is a game he has
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 24, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Thanks Carol. As President Bongo is reaching his twilight years, he
        appears more concerned with his legacy. Accumulating power and wealth
        is a game he has already won. The others are more difficult and more
        challenging. Let's hope that for the sake of all Gabonese that he
        adopts similar policies to cherish, to protect, and to develop
        Gabon's human resources.

        --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "C Yombi" <c_yombi@h...>
        wrote:
        > Bob,
        > Thanks for keeping us informed about these important developments
        in the
        > future of Gabon's emerging eco-tourist industry and environmental
        saving
        > grace - the park system. I guess as bad as Bongo can be, he is
        leaving a
        > promising future for the next generation at least as far as the
        forests are
        > concerned. Let's just hope Gabon continues down the right track.
        >
        > Carol
        >
        > >From: "bobutne" <bobutne@a...>
        > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > >Subject: [Gabon Discussion] Lekedi Park
        > >Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 13:25:47 -0000
        > >
        > >Bakouma - Gabon is turning a former industrial facility - a
        gigantic
        > >76km cableway that once carried manganese ore to Atlantic ports for
        > >export to world markets - into Africa's most unusual nature
        reserve.
        > >
        > >The Lekedi park, close to Gabon's southern border with the Republic
        > >of Congo, is a larger-than-life experiment in preserving the
        > >environment while providing a living to local inhabitants through
        > >agricultural production and tourism.
        > >
        > >From the 1960s to the early 1990s, about 1 800 people worked here
        > >maintaining the cableway, which carried the ore from mines at
        Moanda
        > >to the Congolese town of M'Binda. From there, the ore was taken by
        > >rail to the Congolese port of Pointe-Noire.
        > >
        > >But the opening of the 800km trans-Gabon railroad made the cableway
        > >redundant. Since 1986, the manganese ore, which is used in the
        > >production of steel, batteries and ceramics, has been taken
        straight
        > >to port in the capital, Libreville.
        > >
        > >This left the mining company, Comilog, with the problem of what to
        do
        > >with the old cableway and the rain forest it traverses.
        > >
        > >"After a lot of thought, Comilog came up with a project to preserve
        > >the environment, allied with development of agricultural production
        > >and tourism," said Olivier Dosimont, the operations director.
        > >
        > >"It was a long and difficult process. We started by fencing off the
        > >entire 14 000ha of the park. Our idea was to encourage the
        extensive
        > >breeding of big game and protect it from poachers."
        > >
        > >This policy has met with varying degrees of success.
        > >
        > >Imported animals such as impalas and antelopes have not flourished,
        > >but local species are doing well, including buffalo, wildebeest and
        > >harnessed bushbucks.
        > >
        > >The park has also become a home for the world's largest and most
        > >colourful monkeys, the mandrills with their faces of brilliant red
        > >and white.
        > >
        > >Mandrills, which are increasingly endangered with the human
        invasion
        > >of the rain forest, are found in the wild only in Gabon, the Congo
        > >and Cameroon. Gorillas have also established a foothold in the
        Lekedi
        > >park.
        > >
        > >Comilog also sought to find other jobs for about 100 employees of
        the
        > >old cableway who have remained on the site. A former engineer is in
        > >charge of fish-farming, and another raises mushrooms.
        > >
        > >The fish farm provides about 45% of the income of Sodepal, the
        > >subsidiary company set up to run the park.
        > >
        > >The company also has experimented with the breeding of large
        rodents
        > >called aulacodes, which are related to the porcupine and are
        > >considered a tasty dish in West Africa, and is encouraging the
        > >development of traditional crafts such as pottery and raffia
        weaving.
        > >
        > >"We are trying to teach people the advantages of rearing animals
        over
        > >hunting them," Dosimont said. "But nature is generous and the idea
        is
        > >slow in catching on."
        > >
        > >Despite all these activities, the park still makes a loss. Dosimont
        > >says that if air fares were lower, more tourists - which is what
        the
        > >park really needs - would be encouraged to come to Gabon.
        > >
        > >http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/Features/0,,2-11-
        > >37_1405587,00.html
        > >
        > >
        >
        > _________________________________________________________________
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        controls.
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