Empower 22 African communities to protect primates

 
$16,640
$38,360
Raised
Remaining
Yellow baboon at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
Yellow baboon at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

Last week Lilongwe Wildlife Centre hosted the 2014 PASA management workshop in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Attendees told us it was the best management workshop so far thanks to effective trainings and a welcoming and collaborative atmosphere. 

Workshop outcomes included:

-           Social media training from Chris Tuttle, a top US communications consultant, to help sanctuaries build support around the world for their work to protect wildlife and support local communities.

-          Training on strategic planning for sanctuaries and standards for evaluating conservation programs.

-          Session on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and empowering sanctuaries, communities and governments to address wildlife law enforcement issues. PASA attended the CITES Standing Committee meeting in July to speak up for better protection of African great apes - gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees. We are working with member sanctauries and partners around the globe to urge nations to implement CITES regulations and crack down on the illegal trade of African wildlife.

-          Training on managing and addressing wildlife disease outbreaks.

-          Donation of 3 tablets per sanctuary from the Jane Goodall Institute and a training on Open Data Kit to build and collect standardized data for animal arrivals at sanctuaries. Standardized animal arrivals data are critical to demonstrate to CITES and governments that primate sale and trade is a serious problem.

-          Planning for a future workshop to help sanctuaries develop strategic conservation programs that address the specific challenges in their geograhic region, and engage and empower local comunities to protect wildlife and habitats.

Your donations and funding from the Arcus Foundation, the Jane Goodall Institute and Coypu Foundation made this workshop possible.  Thank you!  Your contributions are making a difference for Africa's primates. 

Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
Malawi suffers from poverty and population growth
Malawi suffers from poverty and population growth
Endangered blue monkey at Lilongwe
Endangered blue monkey at Lilongwe
Community programs, Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
Community programs, Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

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School group, Ngamba field trip
School group, Ngamba field trip

PASA's diverse member sanctuaries face many different challenges to protect the wild primates and local habitats.  This year PASA has distributed nearly $40,000 in grants to member sanctuaries to pursue creative solutions to protect primates in the areas where they work. Grants include the following sanctuary projects:

  • Doubling the number of ecoguards protecting the critically endangered Cross River Gorillas and endangered drill monkeys in Afi Mountain Reserve (Drill Ranch, Nigeria).  This reserve is one of the last habitats for the Cross River Gorilla, and every poacher stopped or snare removed makes a vital difference for this species on the brink.
  • Setting up a nature club for kids in the Fernan Vaz lagoon area (Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project, Gabon).  This region is home to gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants.  Due to the large lagoon and many islands and rivers, this area is hard for law enforcement to effectively patrol, so bushmeat hunting and capture of live animals is a major problem.  This nature club is important nature education programming for local children who see bushmeat and live animal sales happening all around them. 
  • Funding ecoguards and snare removal in Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Lwiro, DRC).  This park is home to chimpanzees, Grauer's gorillas and other rare wildlife.  Grauer's gorillas are endangered and live only in Democratic Reoublic of Congo (DRC) so their protection within this park is critical.  Funding ecoguards provides crucial livelihoods for local people who might otherwise (and in some cases did!) hunt these animals. 
  • Funding an EcoGuard in Ekola ya Bonobo Reserve, where the only area where bonobos have been reintroduced, and providing alternative livelihoods training for community members in this area to replace revenue from bushmeat hunting (Lola ya Bonobo, DRC). They are also doing conservation education including community meetings and a radio show.  Both community meetings and radio are key means of coummunication in DRC where internet connectivity and television reception is limited.  Radio programs about conservation are an effective and popular way to get information across the country.
  • Funding for an Officer for forest protection (including removing snares and halting poaching) and working with the local community in Mbargue Forest. This currently unprotected habitat is home to chimpanzees and western lowland gorillas (Sanaga-Yong, Cameroon). This new position will provide a job for a local Cameroonian while helping to protect these endangered apes.
  • Coordination of guard program and supervisor's training of 22 guards; confiscation of guns/nets/illegal products and helping to ensure prosecution of poachers in Parc National du Haut Niger (Centre pour Conservation des Chimpanzes, Guinea).  This park has wild and reintroduced chimpanzees but unfortunately is experiencing difficulty with illegal hunting and fishing.  The guard program is an important source of jobs within the area.
  • Education programming and billboards on wildlife protection laws; funding for eco-guards within Conkouati-Douli National Park (Tchimpounga, Republic of Congo).  This park is home to mandrills and chimpanzees, gorillas and forest elephants. Tchimpounga has had success with better enforcement and adherence to wildlife laws when there is a long-term billboard campaign educating people on what the laws are and the consequences of breaking them.
  • Outreach to 10 primary schools in Entebbe, Unganda to sensitize children about chimpanzees and their plight. After an edcuation program about Uganda's chimpanzees, the childen will be engaged in a creative-writing contest to describe chimpanzees and offer ideas on how to protect them.  The children and teachers will have an expenses-paid trip to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary (CSWCT - Ngamba Isand).
  • Funding for local community education regarding the misconceptions about vervet monkeys aiming to lower the number of incidents of pellet gun and other shootings and cruelty associated with witchcraft (Vervet Monkey Foundation).  Vervet monkeys are considered pests by many in South Africa and cruelty is commonplace.  The sanctuary has been effectively engaging the community to better understand, appreciate and protect local populations of the monkeys, whose local populations are beginning to decrease.
Thank you for your donations and the support of the Coypu Foundation and SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund which made these grants possible.  We are grateful for your support and the hard work of the many sanctuaries and individuals in Africa, as well as other experts across the globe - together we are giving African primates a chance for survival!
Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project
Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project
Vervet monkey
Vervet monkey
Tchimpounga Billboard in Congo
Tchimpounga Billboard in Congo
Chimps at CCC, Guinea
Chimps at CCC, Guinea
Community meeting at Lola ya Bonobo
Community meeting at Lola ya Bonobo

Links:

CSWCT tree planting
CSWCT tree planting

One of the things that makes PASA special is our dedication to building local capacity for conservation across Africa. This year, in addition to the skills training workshops and materials we provide for African national sanctuary staff, we will be dispersing more than $40,000 to member sanctuaries to work directly with local communities to protect primates and habitats. I’m thrilled to share with you some of our efforts over the past few months, and what’s next for PASA.

This year we are coordinating a new regional conservation education and community engagement training in Cameroon, which will be led by Cameroonian educator Jeta James Fawoh. Jeta has been participating in PASA’s education training program since 2005, and is now getting his Masters’ degree in conservation planning. We’re very proud of Jeta and excited to work with him on this project!

PASA will also be dispersing about $10,000 in grants to sanctuaries in Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Gabon, Nigeria and the Congo for education and projects with local communities. Several of these sanctuaries are working to address local human conflicts with apes and monkeys. Last year PASA provided small grants for sanctuaries to hold meetings with local communities and government officials to find solutions to these conflicts. In Uganda, PASA member sanctuary Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) hosted a meeting with local community members in areas where chimpanzees are killed because they raid human crops. Based on this meeting CSWCT and the local communities are implementing a range of strategies including hosting a local radio show to provide information and education to community members, forming village conservation committees, replanting deforested areas, promoting development of natural and artificial barriers to chimpanzee crop raids, and providing incentives to protect forests and reduce killing of chimpanzees. The community meeting was led by CSWCT’s Education Officer, Silver James Birungi, also a veteran of PASA's training program, and winner of a 2013 Disney Conservation Hero award.

Thanks to generous support from the Coypu Foundation and donors like you, we are dispersing approximately $30,000 in funding this month to help sanctuaries to hire local ecoguards and conservation coordinators to conduct anti-poaching patrols and to work with communities to protect gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos in Haut Niger National Park in Guinea, Afi Mountain reserve in Nigeria, Conkuati-Douli National Park Republic of Congo, Mbargue Forest in Cameroon, and Ecola ya Bonobo reserve and Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

With your help and support, we can provide funding to additional PASA sanctuaries in ape and monkey ranges across Africa to carry out this crucial work of protecting key habitats and working with local communities to promote conservation. These funds create conservation jobs in local communities, providing alternative livelihood opportunities that protect Africa’s forests and wildlife.  

Thank you for your help in protecting Africa’s wild primates and their habitats!

Please visit us on our website at www.pasaprimates.org to learn more.

Silver James Birungi (Uganda)
Silver James Birungi (Uganda)
Chimps enjoying fruit at CSWCT
Chimps enjoying fruit at CSWCT
Gorillla at Ape Action Africa (Cameroon)
Gorillla at Ape Action Africa (Cameroon)
CSWCT community meeting
CSWCT community meeting
Jeta James Fawoh (Cameroon)
Jeta James Fawoh (Cameroon)

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A partially blind chimp gets help from a friend
A partially blind chimp gets help from a friend

PASA’s key strategies for protecting Africa’s last wild primates and their habitats focus on collaboration and outreach – with local communities, governments and diverse conservation partners.  I am pleased to share some of our accomplishments in these areas from the past few months.  

I’ve just returned from meetings in Democratic Republic of Congo where PASA brought together primate sanctuaries, conservation experts, global conservation funders and government representatives. We urged continued development of community conservation programs and ecotourism programs, improved enforcement of wildlife protection laws, and raising the standards for animal care and welfare at government-run facilities.  With your support, we are planning to hold similar meetings elsewhere in Africa to develop alliances and strategic plans for local and national conservation action.

Our community conservation programs are working!  PASA provides training, materials and funding for community outreach programs that encourage people to not eat primates or buy them as pets.  As these programs take effect, the number of animals brought into sanctuaries is starting to decrease.  For example, this year PASA sanctuaries rescued 20 great apes orphaned by the bushmeat and pet trades, down from 36 last year.  And, we have implemented a new system to collect data on the origins of rescued animals in order to identify hotspots habitat destruction and illegal trade.  In 2014, PASA will be offering grants of $2,500 -$7,000 to our member sanctuaries to hire local community members as ecoguards or as conservation ambassadors.  Ecoguards will prevent poaching in natural areas and conservation ambassadors will work to expand community programs to protect wild areas and primates.  Thanks to your donations, these programs really are making a difference. With your continued support we can fund ecoguards and expanded community conservation outreach across all 12 countries in Africa where we work. 

PASA collaborators recently published a paper in the science journal Biodiversity and Conservation on the conservation and economic impacts of PASA sanctuaries (Ferrie et al., 2013).  Highlights from the study done by PASA Advisor Kay Farmer, PhD, show that PASA sanctuaries employ more than 550 local people (an average of 26 per sanctuary), and contribute more than $3 million annually to local economies.  Nearly three-quarters of PASA sanctuaries conduct anti-poaching patrols, and most undertake censuses of wild primates and other conservation monitoring. 

Also this fall, PASA organized a Great Ape Reintroduction Workshop, bringing together for the first time 50 scientists, reintroduction practitioners and other experts for each of the four great apes – gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees, and orangutans.  During this workshop we developed an agreement and action steps to improve conservation and animal welfare outcomes of reintroduction projects for these imperiled species.  We also held our annual meeting with the PASA sanctuary managers to update policies and strategize on how to protect Africa’s wild primates and their habitats.

Learn more about us and our work on our new website, www.pasaprimates.org! 

Young chimp at JACK sanctuary in DRC
Young chimp at JACK sanctuary in DRC
Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in DRC
Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in DRC
Claudine Andre welcomes visitors to Lola ya Bonobo
Claudine Andre welcomes visitors to Lola ya Bonobo
Conservation education at Lola ya Bonobo
Conservation education at Lola ya Bonobo

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Mt. Cameroon Nat
Mt. Cameroon Nat'l Park is home to Mona monkeys

Your support is making a difference for wild forests and primates!   With help from generous donors like you and a grant from Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, PASA is providing funding for sanctuary educators to conduct meetings with local communities to share knowledge on the value of protecting local wildlife, and to resolve issues that threaten wild primates and their habitats.

We recently received a report back from Limbe Wildlife Center (LWC) in Southwest Cameroon that I want to share with you. PASA funding and training enabled LWC to hold two community meetings this summer, and to evaluate the community work done over the past several years with the Batoke Village in the buffer zone of Mount Cameroon National Park. The National Park was created in 2010 with agreement from surrounding village leaders, but its wildlife continues to suffer from widespread traditional hunting.  LWC has been working with hunters to develop alternative livelihood opportunities that will protect Park wildlife. The most successful project is training 30 ex-hunters to sustainably harvest plants in the forest.  These plants are sold to LWC to help feed the sanctuary animals rescued from bushmeat hunting, the illegal pet trade and habitat destruction.  The project has just been expanded to provide 8 women and their families with an alternative to selling bushmeat. The women sustainably harvest green leafy vegetables, a free activity that has minimal environmental impact. These vegetables are then purchased by LWC as food for the rescued animals at the sanctuary.

PASA funding also gave LWC an opportunity to bring community project members to visit the animals at the LWC sanctuary. This was an extremely successful program. Most of the people had never seen these animals alive before (except the ex-hunters), and the opportunity to witness the animals’ beauty and remarkable behaviors fostered compassion and pride for local wildlife.  Sanctuary Manager Ainare Idoiaga reports, “During their visit to LWC, one community member, Jacob, took his 3-year old son around the sanctuary multiple times in order to show him the special animals of Cameroon. He took the time to tell his son about every species, and explained to him that all of these animals belong in the forest. This passing of information to future generations makes it clear that Jacob truly understands the importance of the forest and its wildlife and is concerned about conserving Cameroon’s natural heritage for future generations.”

Thank you for your generous support, which will enable PASA to provide training, materials and funding for more community programs like these!

LWC educator Glenn with sanctuary visitors
LWC educator Glenn with sanctuary visitors
Cameroon
Cameroon's forests are home to endangered gorillas

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Project Leader

Michele Stumpe

Portland, Oregon United States

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Map of Empower 22 African communities to protect primates