A small country in central Africa, Gabon covers an area of 267,667 km2. It is crossed by the equator and enjoys a hot and humid climate. The country is bathed by 800km of coastline and covered by 88% of forest sheltering an exceptional biodiversity. Its significant forest cover makes it the main ecosystem of the country with a diversity of natural environments, a rich and varied fauna (nearly 85,000 forest elephants), a diverse avifauna (more than 600 species) and a flora (more than 65 000 specimens) surprising which has not finished being listed.
By virtue of its strong potential, Gabonese biodiversity is a vital source (regulation, support, supply and culture) both for the country and for its population. It offers a range of goods and services for the economic development of the country, the well-being and the food security of the populations.
Gabon's biodiversity is therefore important for the population because it derives economic (logging), ecological (climate regulation, protection of wildlife, especially elephants through forest regeneration) and social benefits. (great cultural, spiritual and religious heritage but also aesthetic).
The ecological functions and ecosystem services that guarantee the well-being and socio-economic development of the Gabonese population are threatened by human activities (deforestation, degradation of natural habitats, erosion of land and coastline, and the disappearance of endemic flora and fauna, pollution) permanent. Despite the conservation efforts of the highest authorities in the country, threats to biodiversity remain a major concern, in particular due to the low level of investment in biodiversity.
To help solve this challenge, the Global Initiative for Biodiversity Finance (BIOFIN) has been set up and represents a global partnership managed by UNDP, with the support of the European Commission and the German governments including Switzerland, Norway and Flanders. Phase 2 (2018-2022) was launched and recently extended over the period 2022-2025, then extended to 5 new countries including Gabon. This follows the explicit request of the Gabonese government to integrate this initiative from 2021 to implement the BIOFIN methodology.
To date, the UNDP Gabon country office is in the process of finalizing the recruitment of the team that will supervise and conduct the studies of the BIOFIN project from the year 2022.