Koukoutamba Dam

The Moyen-Bafing dam could kill up to 1,500 Guinean chimpanzees

In 2018, Guinea made a bold commitment to set aside over 6,000 square kilometers of its most rugged, pristine, and biologically diverse territory. Inspiring a surge of celebration from scientists and conservationists around the world, Guinea committed to creating the Moyen-Bafing National Park, which is poised to become one of Africa’s premiere natural places and a heaven for one of the planet’s largest populations of western chimpanzees.

The park now faces an immediate and dire threat, as Sinohydro is on the cusp of building the Koukoutamba dam, which would cut through the heart of the park and wipe out thousands of western chimpanzees.

The dam would regularly cause flooding throughout an area twice the size of San Francisco. Rebecca Kormos, a primatologist who has spent decades studying the region, said in a recent interview with The Guardian that if the dam is built “it would have the biggest impact a development project has had on chimpanzees, ever.”

If built, the Koukoutamba dam would kill up to 1,500 western chimpanzees — one-twelfth of the national population. The species’ numbers have fallen by 80 percent in the last two decades and is now listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

At Mighty Earth, we are campaigning to stop reckless energy projects, save wildlife and prevent destructive development in our planet’s most majestic national parks. We are calling on Sinohydro to immediately cancel its plans to build the Koukoutamba dam.