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Mbaéré-Bodingué Interactive Map
Mbaéré-Bodingué Interactive Map
Bayaka people hunting in the forest (video) Ngola Moloukou Lokombe Moale Mbakoro Ngoundi Londo Gbadane Ndele Types of maps created in the mapping process Mapping activities in Mbaéré-Bodingué Mapping teams in Mbaéré-Bodingué Mapping training in CAR Mapping workshop in Mbaiki Cultural activities in Mbaéré Bodingué Gathering Hunting and fishing Forest products and produce Food preparation Crops grown in Mbaéré Bodingué Building and livelihoods activities Logging activities in Mbaéré-Bodingué Login to view georeferenced community data

Located in the Bambio sub-prefecture between the Mbaéré and Bodingué rivers in the south-western corner of CAR lies the Mbaéré-Bodingué National Park.  Created in 2007 and managed by the Ministry of Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing in the framework of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (ECOFAC) programme, the Park's 86,690 hectares comprises various ecosystems including rainforest, lowland floodplain forest and savannah. These habitats boast a large array of fauna including a number of ‘iconic' species such as elephant, buffalo, gorilla, chimpanzee, and hippopotamus as well as over 400 species of birds. There are also around 70 forest communities with a combined population of 20,000 in the area, some of which - including the village of Mbakoro - actually lie within or on the boundary of the park itself. 

The main ethnic groups present are the Bolemba, Mbati, Boffi, Banda-yanguéré, Pandés, Ngoundi and the indigenous BaAka, who make up a sizeable minority. Community livelihoods, particularly those of the BaAka, are inextricably linked to the forest, with people spending up to several months at a time in the forest to carry out subsistence activities or to visit sacred sites. The local economy is based on hunting, fishing, agriculture, artisanal mining and the harvesting of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as raffia, fruit, nuts, honey, wax, palm wine, mushrooms and caterpillars.

Unfortunately, local people are now facing a number of challenges, particularly concerning their ability to access resources in areas they have traditionally occupied. Moreover, partly because of the remoteness of the area, notably for communities north of the park, access to basic health, education and legal services is extremely limited.

 

 

The objective of the project is to assist local and indigenous communities to map their lands and resources and to use these maps to facilitate dialogue with relevant stakeholders such as the managers of the Mbaéré Bodingué national park. More specifically the project aims to ensure that traditional rights of forest communities are upheld in the various processes underway in the area, including the development of the Mbaéré Bodingué management plan.

Communities involved in the project to date include Moloukou, Lokombe, Moale, Londo, Ngoundi, Mbakoro, Ngola, Gbadane and Ndele, where over 100 community mappers have been trained so far and a further 50 community representatives now capable of participating in negotiations over their land rights. Other partners engaged in these processes include members of civil society organisations and government agencies responsible for forest management at the central and local levels. Of these, a total of fifteen mapping facilitators have been trained and are able to facilitate participatory mapping with communities through the different stages of the process, from scoping, to collecting of geo-referenced data, through to validating the final community maps. Six of these have also been trained as GIS technicians capable of producing fully geo-referenced maps.  

Running parallel to the work of securing community rights around the Park are efforts to promote greater community management of forests in the area. In collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing, the project is developing an innovative approach related to the identification, allocation and management of community forests which takes into account the needs, constraints and realities of communities and which are appropriate for their traditional systems of forest management and decision making processes.  

 

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