Friday, May 2, 2014

Equatorial Guinea Launches Environmental Training Program

Plan supports country’s social development initiatives

The government of Equatorial Guinea has launched an environmental training program to form technicians who will work to ensure that Bioko Island’s environment and natural habitat are monitored in order to protect its biodiversity and the species that are unique to the country.

The program has trained 30 Equatoguineans through the Support Program for the Management and Conservation of the Living Resources of the National Park Pico Basile. The environmental training program complements the education and environmental awareness course, called EcoGuinea 2014, aimed at providing training for environmental monitors, which took place last month in the Papaya Cultural Center of Bata in which another thirty people participated. This latest course is the first course where students will be able to monitor the country's environment.

The program has been supported by the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) through the School of Environment, the National Institute for Forest Development and Management of Protected Areas (INDEFORAP) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the nongovernmental organization Ecotono.

Scientists and environmental experts who have worked in and know Equatorial Guinea first hand have borne witness to  the country’s unique nature and biodiversity. The West African nation has species unique to the country, such as monkeys, frogs, and the marine turtles that nest on the beaches of Equatorial Guinea. New species have recently been discovered, adding to the knowledge of the country’s biodiversity, from familiar species on land and in surrounding waters, such as whales and elephants, to other species, which have yet to be categorized.

The program is part of the government’s efforts to educate its citizens on the country’s natural wealth and to support social development initiatives in the countr.y The government works with foreign companies such as Marathon Oil, which has funded this program through the National Content Funds for the Social Development of Equatorial Guinea.