hippo conservation project benin

Hippo-human coexistence project by the APASAT ONG (Benin)


Testimonial from the activist philemon Djoi from Benin

Benin, with an area covering 114,763 km², is facing significant challenges in biodiversity conservation due to habitat loss, pollution, climate change, and unsustainable land use practices. These issues not only threaten wildlife but also impact communities that rely on natural resources, with children being particularly vulnerable to the negative environmental pressures created by these problems.

As a young conservationist, understanding the importance of environmental education and community involvement and interested in improved coexistence between humans and wildlife, Mr Philémon DJOI with his team of dedicated individuals from APASAT NGO, initiated a project aimed at promoting coexistence between humans and hippopotamuses in the Mono Biosphere Reserve. This project was funded by Dierenpark Amersfoort and focused on addressing the conflicts arising from human-hippopotamus interactions, which often lead to negative outcomes for both parties.

Project objectives

The objectives of the project were to:

  • Raise awareness among local communities about the importance of hippopotamuses in the ecosystem.
  • Educate communities about the causes and consequences of human-hippopotamus conflicts.
  • Empower communities to take action to mitigate conflicts through practical initiatives.


The methods we used were inspired by hands-on activities and community involvement as well as the Youth Conservation Resource, especially the Module 1: Nature on Earth. The project included:

  • Educational workshops for communities, focusing on the ecological role of hippopotamuses and the importance of biodiversity.
  • Distribution of informational materials about human-hippopotamus coexistence.
  • Implementation of practical actions for coexistence.

Project outcomes

We reached:

  • 5 school with approximately more than 200 students educated on human hippo coexistence
  • 5 schools incorporating our educational content in their extracurricular activities
  • 50 community members, including women, local authorities, fishermen, farmers, ….
  • 50 Farmers, fishermen, and other residents are engaged in activities related to hippopotamus conservation and coexistence
  • 50 Farmers, fishermen, and other residents have improved their knowledge and understanding about hippopotamus behavior, ecological significance, and coexistence strategies
  • 50% of participants adopt and implement non-lethal conflict resolution strategies in their daily practices

Remaining expected project results

  • 20% reduction in conflict incidents, as well as a decrease in economic losses attributed to hippopotamus activities
  • Adoption of sustainable agricultural and fishing practices by community members.
  • 2 awareness campaign made through local radio broadcasts
  • Changes related to agricultural and fishing practices within the community. This could include shifts in planting seasons, crop choices, or the adoption of sustainable fishing gear


The human-hippopotamus coexistence project in the Mono Biosphere Reserve, funded by Dierenpark Amersfoort, has made significant strides in raising awareness, educating communities, and promoting practical actions to mitigate conflicts. By fostering a better understanding of the importance of hippopotamuses and the need for coexistence, we aim to create a sustainable future where both humans and wildlife can thrive.

Vous souhaitez rejoindre l’équipe, en savoir plus ou soutenir ce projet ? Vous pouvez écrire directement à Philemon Djoi : philemondjoi9@gmail.com ou le contacter via LinkedIn.

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