Protecting Chimpanzees

by David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees
Protecting Chimpanzees

Project Report | Sep 14, 2023
Protecting Chimpanzees - September Update

By Jo B | Senior Fundraising Executive

Chimpanzee - Credit Josh Iremonger
Chimpanzee - Credit Josh Iremonger

Working alongside local communities in Guinea is vital if we are to protect the important habitat in the High Niger National Park for chimpanzees. We must stop destructive practices such as deforestation. Local people rely on the forest for firewood, food, and for access to wild honey. To solve this problem, DSWF have supported partners on the ground to develop several livelihood programmes, such as honey-making and gardening projects, reducing the need for the community to exploit the forest.

However, the cost-of-living crisis has affected the community in the past year, which risks leading them to turn back to illegal activities to find additional income. It is vital that our team on the ground continue to work closely with communities through awareness, education, and sustainable livelihood programmes to ensure their wellbeing and safety, as well as to protect wild and orphaned chimpanzees and their habitat. In positive news, the beekeeping and honey production project has continued to grow with huge benefits to the community. Villages participating in the programme are now able to sell their chimpanzee-friendly honey for almost ten times the price of previous illegally sourced honey, which resulted in harm and deforestation to the environment.

In the past year, our partners have focused on improving relationships with a village community to the north of the High Niger National Park, who in the past have proven to be difficult to work with and conducted activities harmful to conservation efforts. The community were previously against co-existing with chimpanzees and keen to grow their income through illegal methods. Through our partners’ continued work, the education programme, and other initiatives in this community – such as hosting a football tournament, the team has slowly begun to win the community’s trust.

A big step with this village has been in initiating beekeeping, gardening, and soap making projects (supported by DSWF) to bolster sustainable income in replacement of illegal rice growing. In addition, our partners have helped to renovate their local school and engage students in the environmental education programme. The community have now signed a reciprocal agreement with our partners and have agreed to not farm near the river or hunt or log in the National Park, and to report illegal activities. This now positive relationship will further help to conserve chimpanzees and the environment, as well as protect the release area in the national park for orphan chimpanzees.

More than 620 children have participated in the environmental education programme so far this year, with six new schools joining the programme. This summer, our partners have started to run environmental workshops with local communities during the school holidays. This will continue to raise awareness about the dangers of polluting the river. Thanks to last year’s awareness work, there has been a reduction in the amount of garbage thrown into the river and an increase in sign-ups to the local garbage collection.

With an increase in fuel prices in Guinea of up to 20% in the last year, your support is needed now more than ever. The cost-of-living crisis has severely affected our partners in Guinea. Conservation activities in and around the High Niger National Park have at times had to be delayed and, in some cases, put on hold. But thanks to DSWF’s continued support and funding, our partners have been able to continue their vital community development and education work, without which wild and released chimpanzees would suffer from poaching, habitat loss, and capture into the illegal pet trade. So, thank you for your kind support.

Conservation Education Credit CCC
Conservation Education Credit CCC
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Organization Information

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Location: Guildford, Surrey - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @DSWFwildlife
Project Leader:
Lawrence Avery
Guildford , Surrey United Kingdom

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