Goals

Ambitions for ecotourism

 

Well aware of the importance of the economic and social issues at stake in ecotourism, Gabon is carving out a reputation for itself as a unique destination, thanks to its rich natural, cultural and craft heritage.Gabon has numerous natural assets:a rich diversity of flora and fauna, a preferential location, political stability, a peaceful, hospitable population, a protected ecosystem with rare and precious valuable assets, as well as a wide variety of highly dynamic cultural traditions.

Gabon refuses mass tourism, which would destroy the environment and local culture.On the contrary, it wishes to develop high quality tourism, following the logic of the Green Gabon policy, which protects nature and people, preserves biodiversity and the culture of local population groups, which in turn contributes high added value to Gabon's economic and social development.

Important projects have been established, in particular the privatisation, renovation or construction of hotels such as the ultramodern Laaico complex, for which work is in progress in Libreville.

In addition, the 13 National Parks created in August 2002 by the late President Omar Bongo Ondimba will make it possible to increase the availability of tourist products and build a more diversified offer, suitable for promotion on the international tourism market.

Ecotourism in Gabon is therefore fully expanding and requires new, increased structures.

Theimplementation of the "Green Gabon" policies in the 13 National Parks should encourage intelligent ecosystem development by creating a new source of economic diversification that protects the environment.

 

  • The major objectives of this programme are:
  • Encourage the development of ecotourism as an economic alternative to exploiting Gabon’s natural resources;
  • Create the fundaments necessary for developing a real tourist industry;
  • Develop top-of-the-range reception facilities (planned lodges, etc.)so that the tourist sector can make a greater contribution to GDP;
  • For current and future generations, preserve the richness of an ecosystem classified as a world heritage site;
  • Create jobs for the local authorities (in the forestry, reception infrastructure, road and administration sectors);
  • Modernise and strengthen the existing reception facilities in the provinces and in the vicinity of the nature reserves;
  • Revitalise the activity of travel agent for enhanced tourist chartering,
  • Involve those economic operators in the countrywho have the capacity to promote tourism, particularly abroad.

The international community unanimously approves this approach, which falls within the scope of the global struggle to protect ecosystems with:

  • A partnership set up in 2002 with the United States for the forests in the Congo basin (CBFP), with additional contributions from Germany, Canada, the European Commission, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom;
  • The involvement of International Organisations:The World Bank,the International Tropical Timber Organisation, theInternational Union for the Conservation of Nature;
  • The action of “civil society” organisations:The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Smithsonian Institute.