Wildlife Wood Project (WWP)
Almost 40% of the vast Congo Basin forest in central Africa has been allocated for timber concessions. By contrast, protected areas represent less than 12% of the remaining forests in the region and are therefore often too small or fragmented to support wide ranging species like the forest elephant and western lowland gorilla .
At the same time we recognise that the exploitation of valuable timber provides a significant contribution to the development of the region.
Improved wildlife management in timber concessions could be critical to conserve threatened forest wildlife. ZSL’s Wildlife Wood Project (WWP) helps logging companies adopt low-impact logging practices and better manage wildlife in their concessions, thus helping to provide a sustainable future for wildlife and people.
Incentives such as FSC certification exist to promote sustainable wildlife friendly logging. However the practical tools to achieve improvements on-the-ground are not readily available to forest managers. Recognizing this, ZSL developed the Wildlife Wood Project (WWP) in 2007 and in Cameroon established a partnership with two progressive timber producers, Pallisco and SFID (Rougier) who together manage over 6,200 km2 of forest, larger than the adjacent Dja Biosphere Reserve.
ZSL provides expertise to enable our partners to improve wildlife management within their forest concessions by:
- assisting timber companies to develop and implement comprehensive wildlife management plans for their concessions
- building capacity within timber companies and the relevant government departments to carry out, monitor and certify these management plans
- facilitating the involvement of local communities in the management of their forest resources
- improving monitoring and control of illegal activities to support initiatives such as the EU’s FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in Trade) framework
- assisting companies in identifying, managing and monitoring areas of High Conservation Value (HCV) with a particular focus on priority flagship species; the great apes and forest elephant.
- ongoing research to improve understanding of the direct and indirect impacts of logging on biodiversity in timber concessions and guide improved management.
The WWP is grateful for the support of the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative, the Arcus Foundation, the EAZA great ape TAG and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Location of project activities
Visit the photo gallery to learn more about the conditions our field teams work in and the methods that they use.
Related links and downloads
Part of a series of ZSL Conservation Reports, this is an overview of timber certification which summarises published evidence of wildlife management in certified tropical timber production forests and analyses constraints for achieving sustainable wildlife management.
The Wildlife Wood Project works in close collaboration with timber companies, government, local communities, industry bodies, NGOs and universities in Cameroon:
Pallisco is a Cameroonian logging company which works in partnership with WWP-Cameroon.
WWP-Cameroon works with Rougier's subsidiary Rougier International which also works in Gabon and Congo.
European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.
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