The Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo has been managed and protected by Fondation Franz Weber from 1990 to 2015, as the Convention between the Togolese Government and FFW came to an end in 2015.
Management of FFW from 1990 to 2015
Fazao-Malfakassa is a National Park situated in the West of Togo, near the border to Ghana. It was created in 1975 by merging protected forests in Fazao (1,620 km²) and Malfakassa (300 km²). Furthermore, it is on the list of candidates for future classification as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site.
In the early 1990s, Togo went through a period of major unrest, which weakened its institutions. The Fazao-Malfakassa National Park then became a target for intensive poaching. Other dangers also threatened: illegal prospecting for gold, the destruction of river areas, illegal honey harvesting, and a project to construct a road across the park towards Ghana.
Today, the people of Togo know that without FFW, there would no longer be a single animal in the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park - all of the wild elephants, antelope and monkeys would have been killed by poachers. "It's thanks to the friendship and active assistance of FFW that this is not the case today!", declared a spokesperson for the Togolese government.
FFW organises information and awareness sessions in the villages neighbouring the park, so that the people living there better understand the importance and value of protecting animals and their habitats. The Fondation has also taught villagers how to construct solar-powered ovens to decrease felling of trees, promoted the harvesting of honey in a way that respects the environment, and installed surveillance posts at different strategic points around the park as well as a network of surveillance trails.
A few years ago, Togo was nicknamed 'Switzerland of Africa'. It is true that in terms of country size, the number of inhabitants, their hospitable nature, and the rarity of natural resources, it is very similar to Switzerland. FFW wants Togo to reclaim this description today, now that its situation has stabilised. It is in this context that FFW is fighting for the protection of all of Togo's unique fauna.