Securing one of the most important transboundary landscapes in Sub-Saharan West Africa through ecosystem regeneration and community development
Pendjari National Park and W National Park in Benin make up a triad of critically important national parks. At the crossroads of Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso, the transnational W-Arly-Pendjari (WAP) complex is filled with pristine landscapes, varied habitats and exceptional biodiversity, which is attributed in part to the ebb and flow of water with the seasons. The WAP complex forms the largest intact wild ecosystem in West Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to the area will give you the chance to see the last viable populations of several species in the region, including the Northwest African cheetah and rare antelope. It is also one of the last remaining strongholds for elephants and 90% of West Africa's lion population. Yet, poaching and the need for agricultural land continue to put pressure on the forest.
from free visits to the park and schools are supported with learning materials and grants
90% of which are filled by local people
on average annually by protecting the carbon-rich forest and grassland from deforestation and degradation
thanks to this monumental project
In 2017, the Government of Benin entered into a long-term agreement with African Parks to revitalise, rehabilitate and develop Pendjari NP. A further agreement for W- National Park was signed in 2020. Although African Parks management marks an important turning point for the parks, their future depends on continued investments, such as carbon finance. These investments will not only regenerate and secure the flourishing biodiversity, but will also support communities to build stable and successful conservation-friendly livelihoods, through for example beekeeping, organic cotton growing and shea nut processing.
Enhanced conservation management practices and the deployment of rangers have reduced poaching and illegal logging, increased wildlife, regenerated biodiversity and created overall stability in the areas. The over 40,000 people living around the boundary of both projects benefit from increased employment opportunities, more sustainable agriculture and investments that improve the livelihood in the region. These impressive benefits can be scaled and continued further with carbon finance.
Find out more about the spectacular Pendjari Park here and W park here.
We work with the following partner on this project:
African Parks is a non-profit conservation organization that takes on direct responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of protected areas in partnership with governments and local communities.
Established as an African solution to Africa's conservation challenges, African Parks is in charge of implementation.