The delicate rainforest of Gabon is home to unique wildlife, like the small and very shy forest elephant. These elephants are almost blind but extremely sensitive to any unfamiliar noises or smells. They gather in the muddy forest clearings to drink and bathe in the water, socialise and enjoy nutritional minerals found in the mud.
The area here was logged under the CEB FSC-certificate a few years ago and it is obvious that the elephants have returned to the area.
Any human activity has an impact on nature, but FSC recognises the importance of wildlife, and the rest of the forest, having the chance to regenerate itself. After logging in this forest, the harvested area is closed off for 25 years, so it can regenerate, before it can be selectively harvested again.
As forests in the region have been irresponsibly logged and converted, and elephant ivory is still in high demand on the black market, the elephant populations of Gabon and surrounding countries in the Congo Basin have rapidly vanished. Therefore, CEB’s priority is to keep the elephants’ habitat a secret. As part of their FSC forest management activities, they monitor wildlife and have a structured scout group who look for signs of poaching and respond to any tip-offs that there are hunters in the area.