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 | Jan 11, 2024
Protecting Chimpanzees - January Update

By Jo | Senior Fundraising Executive

Chimpanzee - Will Fortescue
Chimpanzee - Will Fortescue

Our field partners continue to work in and around the High Niger National Park (HNNP) alongside the local authority to protect the park as a refuge for chimpanzees and other threatened wildlife. To reinforce efforts in the protection of the park, our partners have introduced a new bonus and awards system to motivate eco-guards within the park.

One of the main threats to the park are the destructive practices of local communities searching for natural resources. It is vital we raise awareness about the fragility of ecosystems and the need for sustainable methods when utilising natural resources, especially within communities bordering the National Park. Funding raised through your donations are crucial in discouraging these destructive practices and is essential in enabling the conservation of the HNNP and the chimpanzees residing there.

In the past six months, our partners continued to monitor the gardening project at Sidakoro village and started a gardening project at Komoya village. The gardening projects aim to reduce human presence and disturbance from traditional wild harvesting within the National Park, predominantly by women whilst their husband’s hunt. Through gardening, the villagers have an alternative sustainable income, reducing their need to harvest or hunt from the park. In the village of Sambouya, the team delivered materials and funded the creation of a water reservoir and several wells to aid with access to clean water. They also developed a brand to sell the sustainable honey from the successful beekeeping project previously established there – which has since seen huge reduction in deforestation. Prior harvesting of wild honey led to the deforestation of an estimated 1,000 trees a year per community. In the coming months, the team will be starting a new beekeeping project in Kouroussala, with the help of extra funds from DSWF. By reducing deforestation and supporting reforestation and sustainable practices, we can continue to protect vital chimpanzee habitat as well as provide benefits to the entire ecosystem.

Recent activities across the villages (including the reforestation of an area near the village of Senkounya and continued support of women’s groups in the development of a plastic recycling project), have been centred on highlighting the impact of certain endeavours on the environment. Communities now understand that their own actions could be one of the reasons why natural resources in the park are decreasing. Step by step, the programme attempts to make them consciously realise what the consequences of a world without animals or trees could look like. This is a slow and long-term process, requiring years of impactful action, communication, and development of sustainable alternative livelihoods.

In the past six months, our partners have also been working with villages to the north of the National Park, where they have organised a nature club and workshops about the local ecosystem and the threats it faces. The nature club involved children who don’t go to school, as well as those who do. Activities are done in a fun way and the children are loving it. Even children from surrounding villages have come along to participate, as well as their parents. Communities showed a genuine interest in the education clubs and programme and shared their wishes to see the education programmes prolonged within their villages. The two new educators, funded by DSWF, have been vital to this success. Thanks to the education team’s great job, relationships with northern villages have tightened and are now very strong and continue to foster peaceful coexistence between human and chimpanzee.

Through working with villages and benefiting the communities with education programmes as well as additional adult skills-training workshops and development of school buildings, we can come to agreements with them that prevent villagers from: farming near the river (an illegal activity with a huge impact on the protected area), hunting on the protected area, and logging inside the park. Such agreements also include a commitment to supply information regarding illegal activities to the park authorities, fostering peaceful co-existence which benefits both human and chimpanzee as well as the wider ecosystem.

Thank you for your generous support in providing a more sustainable future chimpanzees and the communities that live alongside them.

 

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Chimpaznee - Will Fortescue
Chimpaznee - Will Fortescue
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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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