Protecting “Africa’s Galapagos”



The volcanic archipelago of Saõ Tomé and Principe, off the Western coast of Central Africa, is home to a diversity of animals and plants that rivals the Galapagos islands. It harbours more than 200 species that exist nowhere else on Earth, including 27 endemic birds. While the lush tropical forests covering the islands’ steepest slopes have remained largely untouched, expanding agriculture, illegal logging and other unsustainable use of natural resources have led to forest loss and other habitat degradation in the country’s coastal lowlands. The spread of various introduced and invasive species puts further pressure on native fauna and flora. As a result, at least one third of the archipelago’s endemic species are threatened with extinction today.

Birdlife International's Response

Cartier for Nature supports Birdlife International’s team in Saõ Tomé and Principe in their efforts to protect the natural treasures of the archipelago and prevent its unique animals from going extinct. Birdlife works closely with local communities and authorities to halt deforestation and protect the islands’ most vital primary forests, which harbour many of their most threatened endemic species. They create incentives for farmers to conserve natural resources by engaging them in agroforestry and other environment-friendly activities that generate extra income and strengthen the capacity of local conservationists to ensure the long-term impact of their work.

Supported since

September 2023