At a moment when the United Nations are celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity, biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use in Africa stand out as issues to be addressed. This is particularly important as the continent faces major threats to its biodiversity challenge of eradicating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Africa has long had conservation measures in place, including the establishment of protected areas of worldwide reputation. Africa has managed to preserve, its great wildlife and ecosystems they inhabit. For Example, Gabon, which contains some of the most pristine tropical rainforests on earth, has set aside 10 percent of its land mass for a system of national parks that protect vital habitat for gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephants and other spectacular wildlife. By establishing these protected areas and national parks, Gabon envisioned not only conservation of its natural resources, but also the preservation of its environment. There is already a broad consensus that Gabon has the potential to become an attractive destination for eco-tourism.