The Tri-National Dja-Odzala-Minkébé (TRIDOM) transborder forest

Current initiative

Published February 2019

Forest elephant mother with young

WWF have worked in the Tri-National Dja-Odzala-Minkébé (TRIDOM) transborder forest since 1993. The forest spans three countries and is an important biodiversity hotspot for large mammals. However, the forest elephant is increasingly under threat from poaching with well-established criminal networks operating in the area. Part of WWF’s work in the TRIDOM forest focuses on community-based activities, aiming to reduce illegal hunting and support livelihoods.

Lead

Panda logo of the world wildlife fund for nature

Location

The TRIDOM transborder forest covers 178,000 km², or 10% of the Congo Basin rainforest over three countries, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and Gabon. Nearly 25% of the landscape is made up of eleven protected areas, containing some of the most pristine natural sites remaining in the area. TRIDOM is a stronghold for many threatened species, including forest elephants and great apes. Although TRIDOM has a low human population density it is home to the indigenous Baka population.

The poaching and wildlife trade problem

Species affected African Forest Elephant Loxodonta cyclotis

Products in trade

Ivory for international markets.

Overview of the problem

The TRIDOM forest is a poaching hotspot for forest elephants, with well-established criminal networks operating in the region. Local ivory prices have increased tenfold since 2005, providing incentives for local poachers. Efforts to reduce poaching are made more challenging due to a lack of law enforcement and government corruption. In addition, the landscape makes regular patrolling difficult and leaves huge areas open to hunters and traffickers who operate across borders.

The anti-IWT initiative

The TRIDOM forest is one of WWF’s priority areas in the Congo Basin, with field bases in all three countries. Since work began in the region in 1993, the project has included a number of community-based activities:

- Combatting wildlife crime including communication efforts and local community engagement

- Sustainable community development to ensure communities benefit from conservation and sustainable natural resource management, with the aim to reduce poaching and bushmeat hunting

The strategy

Strengthening disincentives for illegal behaviour

Raising community awareness about wildlife crime penalties and sanctions
Strengthening and supporting traditional norms and sanctions against IWT

Increasing incentives for wildlife stewardship

Subsistence resource access/use
Other

Has the initiative made a difference?

In Cameroon, WWF’s activities have resulted in the creation of nine community forests. In addition, a payment for ecosystems services micro-project has been implemented in four villages. Technical and financial support has also helped local communities to create cocoa farms and plant nurseries.

Organisers, donors and partners

Donors include: EU, USAID, USFWS, UNESCO/CAWHFI, GEF/UNDP, Save the Elephants, Adelle Foundation and FFEM. 

For further information contact (peoplenotpoaching@gmail.com).