The cultural exchange between U.S. and Equatorial Guinea professors and students extends far beyond the scientific scope of this biodiversity protection program.
ExxonMobil recognized early on that the BBPP was effective in both saving the biodiversity of Bioko Island and in building capacity in rural communities and at UNGE.
Dr. Gail Hearn, Drexel University
Bioko Island, located 20 miles off the Gulf of Guinea coast in West Africa, is considered biologically diverse, with critical habitat for seven species of endangered monkeys and four species of nesting sea turtles. These rare species are frequent targets of poachers and commercial hunters, but with ExxonMobil’s support, the BBPP deploys wildlife patrols to monitor the legally protected areas of the island through a monthly census. The ExxonMobil Foundation also provided funding to open the Moka Wildlife Center, the country’s first biological field station. The center hosts training sessions and wildlife research programs. BBPP’s efforts have also contributed to passing legislation that promotes conservation and bans the hunting of endangered primates throughout Equatorial Guinea. In 2013, BBPP implemented educational outreach programs for local schoolchildren.