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PROTECTED AREAS

Patte d’Oie Forest Reserve, Republic of the Congo

The Patte d’Oie Forest Reserve, created in 1938, is the only remaining pocket of natural forest in Brazzaville. This mixed forest, encompassing blocks of natural mesophile forest and plantations, lies in the heart of the Congolese capital, covering a still appreciable area of 125 ha (as against 214 ha when it was created in 1938). It belongs to the Congolese State.

The Brazzaville Regional Directorate of Forest Economy, which is in charge of management of State forests in the Brazzaville Region, is responsible for managing the Patte d’Oie Forest Reserve. The main objectives of the reserve are biodiversity conservation, game-viewing tourism and recreation. Since 1985 (the date of the first National Tree Day in the Congo) the national or local commissions for National Tree Day have become real consultation and decision-making frameworks for management programmes, plans, etc. The inhabitants of Brazzaville are themselves involved in managing this reserve and are among the main beneficiaries.

The working plan for the reserve has two components:

• policing: a patrol team, halting of unauthorized subdivision, expulsion of illegal purchasers, etc.;

• technical operations: development of a zoning system and establishment of a land use plan for the reserve.

Rehabilitation programmes are implemented for degraded zones, together with monitoring and evaluation. Various silvicultural approaches are used on different blocks: full reforestation in bare zones, enrichment of natural forest by introducing indigenous species (limba, okoumé, sapelli, sipo, etc.) and fire prevention efforts. A regional nursery for forest and fruit tree seedlings has been set up. In Brazzaville, 12 of the 15 National Tree Days so far organized have been devoted to safeguarding the Patte d’Oie Reserve.

Scientific studies are being carried out, notably monitoring of the dynamics of trees in the natural forest cover. No harvesting of wood or NWFPs is permitted, except for products of crops grown under an agroforestry system.

Nomination proposed by:

Georges Claver Boudzanga, Ingénieur des eaux et forêts

B.P. 14.379, Brazzaville, Congo

Tel: (+242) 667321/667483

Fax: (+242) 810182 (s/c Ange Matangana)

E-mail: bouzgege@yahoo.fr / cabc_george@yahoo.fr

Further information available from:

François Ntsiba, Docteur Ingénieur des eaux et forêts

B.P. 98, Brazzaville, Congo

Tel: (+242) 663302

E-mail: ntsiba@hotmail.com

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