Benin Moves to Save Part of West Africa’s Last Big Wildlife Refuge

Benin is hiring scores of extra park rangers and bringing in conservation scientists to rehabilitate a part of West Africa’s largest wildlife reserve, which contains big cats and thousands of elephants that have largely died out elsewhere in the region.

The W-Arli-Pendjari (WAP) complex is the region’s biggest remaining expanse of savannah, covering more than 30,000 sq km of Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso.

The tiny nation has partnered with NGO African Parks for the 10-year project centred on the 4,800 sq km Pendjari National Park, part of WAP and seen as the most viable tourist hub for the area, officials involved told Reuters on Thursday.

The complex contains by far the largest elephant population in the region, several thousand, and is thought to house most of the few hundred remaining West African lions, as well as some cheetahs and hippos.

As with other parks in Africa, they face grave threats from poachers and encroachment by a surging human population.

“Pendjari is an opportunity for Benin and the region,” Jose Pliya, director of Benin’s national tourism agency, told Reuters by telephone. “This partnership … will help us make it a sustainable tourism destination (and) a lever for development and employment for the Beninoise.”

But boosting ecotourism faces challenges, not least because jihadists are thought to have infiltrated parts of the wider reserve. France, former colonial master of the three nations that straddle the park, has advised it citizens against all travel to the Burkina Faso side of the expanse.

A tourism ministry spokeswoman, when asked about the jihadist threat, said only that Benin had never been attacked and “security measures are being put in place,” to prevent one.

To better police the park, the project will recruit 10 officers or specialists, train 90 guards, set up a satellite communications network and put a 190 km fence around it, a joint statement from African Parks and Benin said.

A spokesman for the presidency said there were as of yet no plans to work with Benin’s neighbours, although experts say cross border cooperation is key to conserving large wildernesses.

“Regional cooperation always makes sense (for) … better management of the larger landscape and the species that move within it,” African Parks spokeswoman Fran Read said in an emailed response to questions.

“But equally … Pendjari National Park is a sufficiently large ecosystem to successfully conserve all its key species.”

Originally reported by Reuters.

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These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal advice.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all matters relating to your business startup, ensures advise based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessing of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and unknowledgeable business advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advise and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

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