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FSOA funds initiatives for a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve

As a Conservation Trust Fund, the Foundation of West African Savannas (FSOA) bases its intervention on an endowment fund whose interests provide predictable, regular and sustainable funding to secure the long-term effective management of the Wildlife Reserves of the W-Arly-Pendjari Transboundary Complex, UNESCO World Heritage Site. In September 2019, it granted a subvention of more than 3.1 million euros for the implementation of a large-scale rehabilitation and development Program for WTBR-Benin, a Protected Area of 800.000 Ha.

The beginning of this program had to be accelerated, at a moment when the security degradation and management weaknesses of this vast border area could encourage the settlement of active armed groups, which would constitute a new threat, even more difficult to stop. Thus, FSOA with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development and African Park Network signed an Agreement for the financing and implementation of a Priority Action Plan for the WTBR-Benin, in order to contain threats to that Wildlife Reserve.

The official ceremony of signature, on 10th September 2019 in Cotonou, was the first step towards collaboration on a scale never seen before in the history of FSOA. Thanks to the Beninese Authorities for their commitment to make effective the financial contribution of Government, and to the financial support of the German Cooperation, through a KfW fund, the implementation of the program has been able to start in the best conditions, since October 2019: i) Rehabilitation and opening of runways; ii) Rehabilitation of an operational base and guard posts; iii) Equipment and operation of surveillance patrols; and iv) Recruitment and training of 60 new rangers.

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