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Caroline Winchester discussed the project she worked on and lessons learned with ANPN (L’Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux). Ms. Winchester assisted ANPN in the creation of best practice guidelines for timber operations conducted within the 5km buffer zones surrounding national parks.

To create these guidelines, Ms. Winchester synthesized Gabonese laws, stakeholder input, and twelve best management practice guidelines into one document. She then compared and altered the guidelines according to the realities of logging in Gabon by working extensively with Olam Timber Gabon and David Fournier, a USFS expert hired as a Technical Advisor to ANPN on buffer zone management. Upon the completion of the guidelines they will be utilized by ANPN to serve as the basis for a tool to rate timber companies’ compliance with best management practices. The guidelines can be utilized by timber operators, auditors, and national park managers, and serve to ensure that the integrity of Gabon’s national parks remains intact.

This task served to aid in the larger goal of establishing a system to protect Gabon’s national parks from the recently expanding timber industry.