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AERIAL SURVEILLANCE OF COMOE NATIONAL PARK: the Office Ivoirien des Parcs et Réserves (OIPR) signs an agreement with Aviation Sans Frontières Belgique (ASFB) to reinforce the park’s security.

21 June 2023

In view of the threats to the Comoé national Park, OIPR's North-East Zone Management has acquired a microlight aircraft to reinforce surveillance of the park. To implement this new mode of management, the management has focused on building the capacity of two of its agents to provide the dedicated service.

© Sean Cronin

In May 2023, ASFB and OIPR signed a two-year contract to implement the aerial surveillance roadmap and carry out the 2025 aerial inventory of the fauna of Comoé national Park. This project is being carried out in partnership with the University of Liège, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, and with technical support from AHT Group.

The contract has four main objectives :

  • putting microlight aircraft into operation
  • integration of airborne resources: drone, microlight, aircraft, satellite
  • analysis of data, reports, and publications
  • and the organization, execution, data analysis, and report writing of the 2025 aerial inventory of the Park's fauna.

 To put the microlight aircraft into operation, two pilots identified by OIPR's Direction de Zone Nord-Est for aerial surveillance will have their skills reinforced by Stéphane Carré, pilot-instructor, over 3 months, starting on July 10, 2023.

At the end of May 2023, Stéphane spent a week at Micro-Aviation, the manufacturer of the Bat Hawk microlight, in South Africa, to obtain his qualification on the Bat Hawk type. He flew for that with Sean Cronin, another pilot-instructor already mobilized by ASFB in Comoé national Park.

© Xavier Vincke
© Xavier Vincke

Xavier Vincke, Director of Programs at Aviation Sans Frontières Belgium, accompanied Stéphane to :

  • discuss with Micro Aviation specific equipment for the Bat Hawk used in the Comoé National Park, notably for aerial photography.
  • identify additional training and exchange trips for OIPR microlight aircraft pilots.
© Xavier Vincke