A flock birds on the banks of a water reservoir.

Strengthening resource management in the W-Arly-Pendjari Complex region

Transboundary biosphere reserve of the WAP region

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2023 to 2026

  • Products and expertise

    Climate, environment and management of natural resources

A herd of antelopes on a grassy area, surrounded by trees and bushes.


Germany has been supporting the sustainable management of the WAP region – comprising the three national parks W, Arly and Pendjari in Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger and their neighbouring areas – for many years. An important milestone was reached in 2017 when UNESCO recognised the savannah conservation areas as a World Heritage Site. In 2022, the three countries established a regional secretariat to jointly manage the World Heritage Site and its surrounding areas (transboundary biosphere reserve) based on an agreement concluded in 2019, but this is not yet fully functional.

However, due to high poverty levels and increased demand for land for agriculture and livestock farming, the local population continues to put significant pressure on the natural resources of the protected areas. For some time now, a tense security situation triggered by terrorist activities and displacement has been exacerbating poverty.

Concrete beehives with straw on top, surrounded by bushes and trees.


Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger are implementing the agreement on the joint management of the transboundary biosphere reserve in the WAP region.


The project focuses on improving the institutionalised cooperation of public stakeholders and making the population more resilient to the current threat situation. It works in three fields of activity:

  • It is setting up the regional secretariat together with all stakeholders in the WAP region. It is testing the functionality of the regional secretariat by preparing framework documents and strategies and carrying out initial regional activities.
  • It is supporting local communities in creating and legally securing protected and utilised areas. Local communities also receive assistance in implementing management plans and developing the necessary structures and procedures.
  • The project also promotes training and further education – especially for women and young people – in the production, processing and marketing of natural raw materials such as honey, baobab, mung beans, mushrooms and fish.

Last update: December 2023

Honey is poured into a bowl.

Additional information