Gabon Appoints Conservationist to Protect Wildlife

A British former Wildlife Conservation Society officer has been named Gabon’s forests minister, after the last one was fired over a scandal in which hundreds of containers of illegally logged kevazingo wood went missing. Lee White ran the WCS programme in Gabon for nearly two decades before becoming head of the central African country’s National Parks Agency. He has dual British-Gabonese citizenship. Gabonese President Ali Bongo has sought to cast himself as an environmental crusader, delighting conservation groups by banning raw wood exports, enlarging protected areas and demarcating 13 new national parks since he took power after the death of his father, Omar Bongo, in 2009. Despite those efforts Gabon remains a target for poachers, illegal logging and the illicit wildlife trade. SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

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