The Protective Association of Great Apes of Moukalaba (PROGRAM) was created in 2004 by the late General Athanase N'ZAMBA and Pr. Pierre André KOMBILA KOUMBA and officially recognized in 2007. This NGO was founded at the time to bring a response to two major concerns: how to settle the population of Doussala after the closure of the successful site of the Compagnie Equatoriale des Bois (CEB) on the one hand and how to protect the community of great apes of Mount Doudou Ebola epidemics that were raging then in Central Africa in the years 1990-2000, on the other hand.
Since then, as part of its gorilla conservation project, PROGRAM has been working in the Moukalaba-Doudou National Park (PNMD) in southeastern Gabon.
AREA OF INTERVENTION AND PROBLEMATIC
The Moukalaba-Doudou National Park and its ecosystem are the subject of various threats, such as poaching and the illegal trade of bushmeat and ivory, logging by the Gabonese, Mining and Petroleum Company. and to a lesser extent local human activities (subsistence slash-and-burn agriculture, hunting and fishing), relatively limited because of low population density. Epidemics, such as Ebola in the 2000s, are also high risks that affect not only the great ape populations in the park but also the surrounding communities.
VISION AND MISSION
PROGRAM's mission is to preserve the biodiversity of the PNMD and its periphery, within the complex of Protected Areas of Gamba, while integrating local populations in the process of conservation and enhancement of heritage. The project of this NGO is to lay the foundations of an ecotourism focused on the promotion of the cultural and natural heritage of the Moukalaba-Doudou National Park.
AREA OF INTERVENTION
Development of Great Ape Tourism
The development of the tourist site of Doussala within the National Park of Moukalaba-Doudou offers tourists the observation of gorillas and other species (elephants, kobe, birds, buffaloes etc ...) with the participation of local communities in the management and the reception of these tourists.
Community awareness on the protection of biodiversity and gorillas
The establishment of environmental awareness programs in schools aims to increase the involvement of local communities in projects for the conservation and enhancement of their heritage.
Support to local socio-economic initiatives
The development of beekeeping sectors and non-timber forest products allows to generate additional income to the populations living in the region.
Habituation of gorillas in NPMD
Since 2014, the Trackers' Team, overseen by the Biology Field Technician, has been assigned to habituated a group of gorillas in the area to promoting great ape tourism, in accordance with IUCN's guidelines for the matter.