Access to the National Parks for research is regulated, and requires prior authorisation by CENAREST and ANPN. Researchers should follow the Permitting Procedures on this site, and should consult the CENAREST website for more details - the process takes 3 months and researchers should plan well in advance. Researchers should ensure they have all the correct permits before travelling to Gabon. Those who arrive without permits risk being refused access to the parks.
Researchers should also be aware that they will almost certainly require some kind of local support in the form of field assistants, logistics and accommodation, at a cost to the researcher. However, most parks have extremely limited capacity to host researchers, and the availability of lodging, transport and field assistants cannot be guaranteed.
Scientific research that supports and guides park management is important to the national parks, and we ask that researchers make as much effort as possible to consult and collaborate with the parks throughout their studies. ANPN will always prioritise research that responds to park management needs or national conservation objectives, and provides clear benefits to the parks. We strongly encourage researchers to consider the following:
During the design phase:
Seek advice from ANPN and its partners about what kind of research is needed for conservation, and what research is already happening or has happened inside the parks.
Make contact with relevant national institutions pertinent to your study to establish institutional partnerships early on.
Ensure research permit applications are submitted 3 months in advance.
Seek information about the real costs of conducting research in Gabon and the logistical support that will be necessary for your study.
Write realistic budgets into grant proposals, including budget lines for transport and personnel costs, car purchase or hire and equipment shipment.
Plan realistic time-frames, taking into consideration the 40-hour working week in Gabon and plan at least 20% field days lost due to logistical difficulties, staff absences and other unforseen problems. Avoid planning field trips during national holiday periods (e.g. mid August and Christmas/New Year), when most government offices will be closed.
During field work:
It is important that researchers respect all government and park regulations and collaborate fully and professionally with the parks service and its partners.
Researchers are only allowed to work inside the national parks with authorised and legally employed staff contracted to ANPN or one of its partners.
Researchers must deal with all local staffing issues (such as payment of hired field assistants, working hours and working conditions) with the staff members' employer, unless otherwise agreed.
Note that staff availability outside normal working hours may be possible, but cannot be guaranteed.
Please be flexible and understanding - while ANPN will make every effort to facilitate researchers' field work, delays are possible.
Following field work: Communicating results back to ANPN and CENAREST so that research may benefit Gabon is a condition of the research authorisation being issued. Reports should be submitted according to the Reporting Procedures on this website, as well as any conditions specified on the research permits. Copies of all scientific publications, theses, popular articles and other products such as photos, films or posters should be sent.