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Institutional Collaboration

GENTE's founding partners, Drexel University and the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE), have collaborated for over 25 years under the auspices of the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP).

Dr. Gail Hearn founded the program in 1992 to conserve Bioko Island’s biodiversity, especially its critically endangered primates and nesting marine turtles. Bioko is the largest of the archipelago islands in the Gulf of Guinea and is home to 11 of 30 primate species found in the country, half of which are endangered. In addition to championing environmental stewardship, Drexel University’s BBPP engages in activities to develop UNGE and INDEFOR-AP’s educational capacity. These include improving management skills, building English-language proficiency, enhancing teacher training, and equipping classrooms with office supplies, Internet access, and telecommunications.


  • 1990

    Gail Hearn’s first trip to Bioko Island as part of a 3-scientist team.

  • 1996

    Hearn leads first expedition to the island, beginning support of forest census with locals.

  • 1997

    Mobil EG begins logistical support for BBPP.

    Local communities with BBPP backing start to monitor turtles on the southern beaches, monkeys in the Gran Caldera forest, and bushmeat in the Semu market.

  • 1998

    BBPP becomes an official international academic partnership.

  • 2002

    First Biodiversity Roundtable in Equatorial Guinea.

    Study Abroad program begins.

  • 2003

    ExxonMobil Foundation starts annual awards to BBPP.

  • 2007

    President Obiang bans sales of primates.

    BBPP moves to Drexel University.

  • 2008

    Moka Wildlife Center established.

    Moaba Biomonitoring Station established on key leatherback turtle beach.

  • 2011

    Moraka Biomonitoring Station established near Rio Ole, the gateway to Gran Caldera.

    Bioko Artisan Collective established.

    First US Fish and Wildlife Service grant award.

  • 2014

    Katy Gonder becomes BBPP Director and Drexel professor.

  • 2015

    Nationwide Science & Policy in EG workshop to support management of the Gran Caldera Scientific Reserve.

    BBPP officially partners with INDEFOR-AP

  • 2016

    EG Expeditions established

    INDEFOR-AP establishes permanent vigilance station on southern beaches near Ureka Village.

  • 2019

    Moka Wildlife Center re-opened as management center for Gran Caldera Scientific Reserve.

  • 2020

    GENTE Consortium established.

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