Apr 4, 2019

Record Number of Trees and International Tree Day

Students receiving seedlings to plant at school
Students receiving seedlings to plant at school

Community involvement in an essential part of conservation. Agroforesty programs aid in giving the local communities the opportunity to increase their crop yields while protecting the rainforest. Farmers in our agrofrorestry program are located in and around the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, but there are five villages where OCP grows trees and stores seed crops: Epulu, Mambasa, Biakato, Niania, and Wamba. The primary focus for each area is the growing and distribution of seedlings from nurseries. The Wamba nursery was completed in 2018 and was the newest nursery to be added.

In 2018, there were almost 70,000 tree seedlings distributed to over 2,000 people. These seedlings included nitrogen-fixing, fruit, and other various types of trees. Additionally, the agroforesty program assisted over 1,200 farmers and distributed over 2,300 kg of rice, 1,100 kg of peanuts and 1,200 kg of beans for planting. Various tools like machetes and hoes were also provided to new farmers in the program. Agronomes also allocated various vegetable seeds including cabbage, carrot, and cucumber seeds to the 85 community vegetable gardens.

A ‘refresher course’ was provided in Epulu for five agronomists and two technician to revisit and share the very successful agroforestry techniques and what has worked in each of the five villages. The refresher course provided training on the importance of community conservation, nursery maintenance, tree planting, select tree species for the agroforestry program, the Okapi Wildlife Reserve and how to use a GPS.

International Tree Day was also celebrated in November in Mambasa, Biakato, Niania, and Wamba. In each area there was one selected school that had the students and teachers plant trees at their respective schools. A total of 545 trees were planted with 450 children participating in the activity.

The agroforestry program enables local people in various communities to participate in sustainable practices in conservation. These techniques aid in keeping critical okapi habitat from being destroyed. This is all possible by the funding from donors like you. We highly appreciate and thank you for your generous and continued support!

Large cabbages in demonstration garden
Large cabbages in demonstration garden
Planting trees to reforest school yard in Niania
Planting trees to reforest school yard in Niania

Links:

Feb 27, 2019

ICCN Results for 2018

ICCN Patch
ICCN Patch

In 2018, the ICCN rangers made a tremendous amount of effort and did excellent work in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR). Their patrols covered a total distance of over 24,000 km on foot with a 48% coverage rate on foot. An average of 101 rangers patrolled the reserve each month and 657 patrols were completed. Impressive results!

Patrolling can be a dangerous job and while in the forest the rangers encountered various threats including armed poachers, metal and nylon snares and illegal mines. There was an immense number of snares encountered by the rangers in the reserve: over 4,400 nylon snares and 410 metal snares. The rangers not only destroy snares but also confiscate various tools including 646 spades, 191 rounds of ammunition, 15 guns, and 131 machetes. Twenty-eight people were also arrested for poaching. There were also 257 camps that were encountered with 67% of the camps still active. Mining made up a large majority of those camps. As is protocol, miners are peacefully escorted out of the Reserve if it is their first offense.

In contrast, there were also more uplifting encounters while on patrol. Animal observations are also common with various species being seen. Each of these sightings were recorded by the rangers with a total of 18 different species were observed. While okapi are elusive animals, the rangers were able to see 16 individuals! Primates had the highest number of observations with 283 Guereza colobus monkeys, 243 red-tailed monkeys, and 174 red colobus monkeys being seen. In addition, rangers also recorded the sightings of 55 chimpanzees, 9 elephants, and 1 crocodile.

Funding from donors like you gives constructive tools to the OCP and the ICCN rangers to be able to do their jobs more efficiently. These diligent rangers remove threats and enforce laws that ultimately help protect the various species that inhabit the OWR. And we thank you for your generous and continued support! 

2018 patrol locations in Okapi Wildlife Reserve
2018 patrol locations in Okapi Wildlife Reserve
Illegal Gold Mine from Aerial Survey
Illegal Gold Mine from Aerial Survey

Links:

Jan 3, 2019

Office in Mambasa Complete And Tree Distribution

The completed office and storeroom in Mambasa
The completed office and storeroom in Mambasa

The area of Wamba just outside the Reserve’s northwest sector has experienced an increase in population which has put pressure on the fragile forest ecosystem. The communities surrounding Wamba have an interest in conservation and protecting the forest and requested the construction of a nursery to improve food security and to become involved in our agroforestry program. The nursery was completed in early 2018 and is currently managed by Therese Bangbeto, the first woman to run one of our five nurseries.

 

Because of the addition of this 5th nursery, we can now contribute to improving food security in the communities in the northern part of the Reserve, and we expect by increasing crop yields to reduce the need for people to be involved in illegal activities to support their families. Under Therese’s guidance, this nursery, after starting all the seedlings from seeds collected locally, has allowed us to surpass our goal of distributing over 60,000 tree seedlings in 2018!

In the town of Mambasa, we constructed an office building and storage space for our educators, agronomes and the local women’s group. The building was constructed on a plot of land owned by OCP and provides office space and storage for our educators and agronomes and an enclosed space for the Mambasa women’s group to meet and store their materials such as sewing machines, seeds and fabrics. Having this safe, dry and proper storage space will provide team members with a suitable place to plan and conduct their programs and store all supplies. It is important that the seeds for our agroforestry program have a cool, dry space in order to be banked and distributed to local farmers in the future.

In 2018, our agronomes also distributed over 5,300 kg of rice, 250 kg of beans and almost 2,000 kg of peanuts to farmers joining our agroforestry program around the Reserve. Our agroforestry program has proven results by increasing farmers' crop yields through natural fertilizers allowing farmers to lengthen the life of the soil and avoid cutting new plots of land destroying critical okapi habitat. 

Twenty-eighteen was filled with ambitious goals of strengthening infrastructure and reach to new communities and this year we hope to achieve the same. Together with your support, we can ensure okapi and communities have a safe place to live for generations. Thank you!

A happy Biakato Farmer with cabbage harvest
A happy Biakato Farmer with cabbage harvest
Seed distribution in Biakato
Seed distribution in Biakato

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.