Environmental Stewardship Jobs Program
The GENTE Environmental Stewardship Jobs (ESJ) Program is designed to strengthen conservation strategies, training, and job opportunities at two key protected areas in Equatorial Guinea: the Gran Caldera Scientific Reserve and Monte Alén National Park. Successful conservation of these biodiverse landscapes is hampered by socio-economic challenges and lack of job opportunities, particularly for people who live adjacent to this natural wealth.
Guided by the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program's (BBPP) two-plus decades of experience connecting environmental conservation with sustainable livelihoods on-the-ground in Equatorial Guinea, the GENTE Consortium aims to increase the scope and scale of these activities by:
- Fortifying key protected areas by improving their management frameworks and providing opportunities for eco-guard workforce development
- Supporting the growth of ecologically-sound enterprises with an emphasis on: hospitality and eco-tourism, production of arts and crafts, and sustainable agricultural products
- Cultivating sustainable employment opportunities, especially in rural communities, including: eco-guards, wildlife monitors, guides, environmental educators, and facilities management and operations
- Accelerating career development of GENTE Scholars to boost their impact on natural resources management in Equatorial Guinea
Local communities are key to the success of protected areas. The Consortium will leverage BBPP’s history of collaborating with villages to craft conservation interventions with benefits, distribution plans, and paths of engagement to empower communities to be the architects of change.
Along with providing jobs, GENTE partners view complementary professional capacity building activities as key to participant success. GENTE will ensure all positions have access to adequate support and opportunities for advancement.
Effective management is central to the healthy functioning of the Gran Caldera Scientific Reserve and Monte Alén National Park. Both are strongholds of Equatorial Guinea’s iconic wildlife and hold spiritual and cultural value. The GENTE ESJ program creatively engages communities using an inclusive participatory process for the benefit of all Equatoguineans in perpetuity.
Safe and healthy wildlife is vital for nature-based tourism; eco-guards and biological monitors are essential to safeguarding these natural treasures. Resource protection jobs can and should come from the community, representing local leadership for nature-based tourism that inspires a culture of conservation.
Biodiversity in Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea is a biodiversity treasure. Its stunning ecological landscape is home to a diverse range of species, including some of the rarest primates and sea turtles. Though its tropical rainforest remains largely intact, gaps in the protection of Equatorial Guinea’s natural resources leave many of the country’s beloved species vulnerable to extinction. Local communities lack the qualifications and training required to participate in, and lead, protected areas management. Generating environmental conservation jobs will not only protect the country's unique wildlife but lay the foundation for a thriving ecotourism and hospitality industry that will support the well being of people and planet in perpetuity.
Progress Towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
GENTE is proud to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By increasing training and job opportunities for environmental stewards in Equatorial Guinea, the ESJ Program aims to diversify and stimulate economic growth, promote the responsible use of natural resources, safeguard forests to mitigate the effects of climate change, and strengthen conservation of life on land and below water in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals:
- #8: Decent work and economic growth
- #12: Responsible consumption and production
- #13: Climate action
- #14: Life below water
- #15: Life on land