Gabon, cradle of biodiversity

Natural Paradises of Gabon

Fossils dating from 2.1 billion years ago
 

Gabon is the cradle of life on Earth. More than 250 fossils providing proof of the existence of multi-cellular organisms 2.1 billion years ago were discovered in Franceville in 2008, overturning current knowledge of the origins of life. Until this discovery, the first traces of complex life dated from 600 million years ago.

 

Gabon's diversity is also human. It draws its strength from an ancient culture that dates back to the Neolithic era, as witnessed by certain rock carvings in Lopé Park. Gabon is a nation that was formed from successive waves of converging population migrations from the north and south of the African continent. This human mosaic was further enriched through contact with indigenous pygmy peoples, forest and savannah peoples, who had settled there thousands of years previously. This country, with a population of 1 500,000, comprises at least 42 different ethnic groups. 80% of the population lives in urban areas, which paradoxically, has meant a large part of nature has been preserved intact.

 

In Minkébé Park, in the north-east of Gabon, we know, for example, that the vast marshlands absorb the rainwater which is subsequently released during the dry season to feed the river Ivindo with clear, filtered water. Men and animals in these parts therefore have a supply of drinking water, even in the height of the dry season. We also know that the Monts de Cristal National Park plays a key role in regulating the climate around Libreville, and that the course of the Mbè River, which feeds the Kinguélé and Tchimbélé hydroelectric dams, provides 85% of the population of the country with electricity. As for the mangrove, in Akanda and Pongara Parks, it is the ideal biotope to facilitate and protect the spawning of fish and shrimp.

 

For the protection of Gabon's ecosystem

 

Gabon is a driving force behind the conservation of the Congo Basin rain forest, the planet’s second lung after the Amazon, with two million square kilometers of tropical forest, which absorbs more than 70 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually


The Gabonese authorities are perfectly aware of the major challenge facing them: that of pursuing the country's economic development without destroying this unique biodiversity, which plays a fundamental role in the planet's environmental equilibrium, and a social role towards the populations whose livelihoods depend on it. Gabon wishes to capitalize on these assets. It is a question of ensuring the continuity of Gabon's preservation efforts, on the one hand, through the financial support of the developed nations, in particular, and to allow tourists from all over the world to take advantage of the exceptional treasures of one of the last natural paradises on Earth:- Gabon.