Lower Ogooué Programme

The Bas-Ogooué (Lower Ogooué) area is situated in the center of Gabon and covers 8,627km2. It contains critical wetland ecosystems.
The area is exceptional in terms of animal biodiversity (elephants, buffalos, apes, mandrills, hippos, manatees, fish, birds etc.), as well as flora and landscapes (Ogooué River, alluvial lakes, forests and flooded farm lands).

Despite its status as a Ramsar site (a wetland of international importance) since 2008, it has no management framework or external support.
Lower Ogooué Map


WWF has been active in the Bas Ogooué area since 2005. The government of Gabon has asked WWF to provide technical assistance to better integrate Ramsar site management and protection measures in a national framework for sustainable management of natural resources.

We are helping the government of Gabon to:
  • Assess the current status and threats (including a review of existing data and fieldwork to fill existing data gaps);
  • Implement an initial action plan to ensure sustainable management;
The WWF interventions are focused on the Ramsar site and its peripheral area. We are currently studying the recognized limits of the site, which do not include the Ogooué delta and other important areas. These should be comprised within the Ramsar site in the future, meaning that the geographical scope of the classified wetlands is highly likely to increase.
Key interventions have included:

1.   Analysing of the institutional and legislative framework;
2.   Conducting a threat analysis of the Ramsar site:
  • Identifying and mapping of all private concessions (forest concessions, mining, oil and agribusiness);
  • Identifying of village areas;
3.   Developing and implementing an anti-poaching strategy;
4.   Developing a model for the management of the Ramsar site;
5.   Assessing the effectiveness of sustainable forest management in forest concessions;
6.   Conducting a census of artisanal gold mining sites.