Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa

by Wild Chimpanzee Foundation
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Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
Save 2000 chimpanzees in West Africa
SODEFOR and STBC officer training
SODEFOR and STBC officer training

The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF) has intensified efforts in the Cavally Classified Forest in Côte d’Ivoire with the training of 22 new eco-guards from the surroundings villages. This eco-guard training is part of a huge new biomonitoring program for the collection of information on natural resources, animal abundances and threats to the flora and fauna of this classified forest. At the end of the training, 14 eco-guards were selected to support the “Société de Développement des Forêts” (SODEFOR), responsible for the classified forests in Côte d’Ivoire. In addition, another training workshop was organized for 10 SODEFOR and 3 STBC officers to better monitor this forest.

During the three biomonitoring missions in the Cavally Classified Forest in 2017, a total of 3434.29 ha were monitored and data collected. These missions found several illegal human activities such as 43 forest clearings, 5 gold mining sites, 4 illegal farms with 33 farmers, 65 cartridges, and 45 traps placed in the forest for bush-meat hunting.
The biomonitoring data also revealed that 64.49% of the forest is still intact, 0.76% is cleared and 1.79% represents abandoned plantations.

Following these results, another emergency plan of SODEFOR in collaboration with WCF was created to maintain constant law enforcement presence in this forest. Four SODEFOR/WCF missions of 15 days each were done in 2017 and 1855 ha of forest were covered. During the missions 91 traps were removed and 37 persons arrested by the law enforcement teams. Despite these illegal anthropogenic pressures, also wonderful endangered animals such as chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys have been observed during these missions, and intact forest observed.

Furthermore, WCF joined several local NGOs to fight the deforestation that threatens Cavally Classified Forest by developing and implementing new activities, and programs in collaboration with SODEFOR and stakeholders, and by denouncing to the Ivorian Government, the press and media the presence of many armed illegal groups and activities in this forest.

Eco-guards collecting data in Cavally Forest
Eco-guards collecting data in Cavally Forest
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Map of Grebo-Krahn National Park
Map of Grebo-Krahn National Park

The new Grebo-Krahn National Park in Liberia passed into law!

This new park protects around 970 km2 of primary tropical rainforest and is the heart of the transboundary Taï-Grebo-Sapo Forest Complex between Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia.

The new park provides habitat for several threatened large mammal species including the critically endangered western chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus), the endangered and endemic pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis), Jentink’s duiker (Cephalophus jentinki) and western red colobus monkey (Piliocolobus badius), as well as the vulnerable forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), Zebra duiker (Cephalophus zebra) and Diana monkey (Cercopithecus diana).

The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation would like to thank all partners and donors for making this happen: The Liberian Forestry Development Authority (especially Hon. Darlington S. Tuagben, Borwen L. Sayon, Theo Freeman, Jerry G. Yonmah, Blamah Goll, Abednego Gbarway, and Joseph Greene), the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (especially Michael F. Garbo), the President Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the Parliament of the Republic of Liberia, the Environmental Protection Agency, all conservation partners in Liberia, all the local communities, Rainforest Rescue, Wientjes/World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), GlobalGiving, Furuviksparken, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) through the Great Ape Conservation Fund, GIZ/Ambero, KfW/AHT and all other donors.

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Eco-guards surveying Cavally Classified Forest
Eco-guards surveying Cavally Classified Forest

Eco-guards are young people from the villages bordering the Cavally Classified Forest in Côte d’Ivoire, committed to protect their forest. Today, the Cavally Classified Forest is one of the last remaining natural forests in Côte d'Ivoire, where there is still intense forest cover and wildlife such as chimpanzees, classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN. The main threat to this forest remains the cultivation of cocoa, which causes the loss of forest cover and of wildlife habitat.
The eco-guards are regularly trained by the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF) on the use of guidance materials such as GPS and compasses, on information gathering methodology and data collection. They accompany the field missions organized by “Société pour le Développement des Forêts” (SODEFOR, the national authority in charge of the classified forests). Eco-guards record the areas cleared for cocoa farming, abandoned cocoa farms and intact forest in a systematic way. Furthermore, they collect all signs of illegal human activities such as poaching and mining, and the presence of large mammals in Cavally Classified Forest.
This monitoring developed by WCF, measures the evolution of the degradation state of the Cavally Classified Forest and allows orienting the management measures for the future. Between March and June 2017, monitoring was done on 1,025 ha of forest. The results show that in the surveyed area, which is under huge agricultural pressure, the proportion of intact forest is 61.80%, clearing represents 0.33%, plantations 35.71%, and 2.15% of abandoned plantations were identified. The number of abandoned plantations is good indicator for assessing the impact of law enforcement actions done by SODEFOR.
WCF urgently needs additional support for the protection of the last remaining classified forest in Côte d’Ivoire – Cavally!

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local community-based NGO OPRFT in action
local community-based NGO OPRFT in action

On the Ivorian side of the transboundary Taï-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Forest Complex, with support of Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, two local community-basedNGOs have been created within one year “Notre Forêt, Notre Avenir” (NOFNA) and “Observatoire pour la protection et la reconstitution de la faune et de la flore tropicale”(OPRFT). They are composed of active members engaged in the protection of the Cavally Classified Forest next to the Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire.

Cavally Classified Forest is one of the last remaining natural forests in Côte d’Ivoire. Of the 234 Ivorian Classified Forests, only 2 remain relatively intact, i.e. Cavally and Yaya Classified Forest, as revealed by a recent study from the REDD+ office in Côte d’Ivoire. However, the massive deforestation which led to 100 % degradation of Goin-Débé Classified Forest, where the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation was working a few years ago, is now reaching neighboring Cavally Classified Forest. The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation did an important lobbying to raise this forest as a priority in 2016. However, at the same time the forest was highly infiltrated by many illegal migrant farmers having been displaced from Mont Peko in July 2016.The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation warned the Government of Côte d’Ivoire that the forest was about to disappear, if immediate actions were not undertaken to rehabilitate it. From September to December 2016, the “Société pour le Développement des Forêts” (SODEFOR, authority in charge of the Classified Forests in Côte d’Ivoire) organized different meetings to set up an urgent action plan for Cavally Classified Forest, and finally the implementation of this action plan was launched in December 2016.To save Cavally Classified Forest from deforestation means protecting the Taï-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Forest Complex. If Cavally Classified Forest keeps being invaded, migrants will advance towards the Taï National Park and the Proposed Grebo-Krahn National Park, and the whole forest block could disappear.

The critically endangered western chimpanzees are today still present in Cavally Classified Forest, but their habitat is highly threatened by illegal cocoa plantations. Thanks to the investigations and actions of the two local NGOs partnering with the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, two of the people illegally selling land within the Cavally Classified Forest to farmers have been arrested by the authorities and will be prosecuted. This law enforcement is not only discouraging others to sell land they do not own, but also new farmers to settle illegally in the forest.

Additional help is needed for SODEFOR to organize a permanent presence in this forest, presently reduced to 15 days/month due to lack of resources. To stop illegal cocoa farming, SODEFOR must assure 30 days per month of presence in the Cavally Classified Forest. Thank you for your support to protect the whole Taï-Grebo-Krahn-Sapo Forest Complex, including Cavally!

WCF team
WCF team
Cavally Classified Forest
Cavally Classified Forest
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copyright Liran Samuni / WCF, snake in the forest
copyright Liran Samuni / WCF, snake in the forest

Sapo National Park, in southeast Liberia, is the country’s largest and oldest national park, harboring more than 1,000 critically endangered western chimpanzees and also the country’s largest elephant population, along with other unique and endangered wildlife such as the pygmy hippopotamus, the leopard, the jentink’s duiker and many species of the most traded wild animal, the pangolin.

Unfortunately, this past year, Sapo National Park has suffered from a worrying increase of human encroachment by illegal artisanal gold-miners. Due the sensitivity of the issue, many areas of the park have become inaccessible to the Forestry Development Agency (FDA) rangers, with thousands of illegal persons now settled in the park.

A similar issue occurred a few years back, when 18,000 illegal gold-miners had settled in the park. Back then, the Government of Liberia reacted and evicted them from the park. The Government of Liberia is now assessing how best to proceed to prevent any further destruction to the greatest stronghold for wildlife and forest in the whole country. The Government of Liberia, in this case, represented by the FDA, have discussed all the issues with both government and non-governmental stakeholders, as well as the communities that live outside the park, and collaborate with the FDA to protect Sapo National Park. Awareness is raised through meetings and by using radio to disseminate conservation messages to the local communities. FDA subsequently led a recce mission to map the problem areas and talk directly to the miners and inform them that they should leave the national park as soon as possible, before the FDA, with other government partners, conduct law enforcement missions to regain the park. As such, FDA is in great need to have sufficient funding to conduct these missions to primarily ensure the illegal miners leave the park but to subsequently ensure their permanent presence across the park to deter them from re-settling and degrading Liberia’s natural heritage any further.

We really hope you can help us raise this money to help save the forest and wildlife of Sapo National Park in Liberia!

copyright Liran Samuni/WCF, pangolin in the forest
copyright Liran Samuni/WCF, pangolin in the forest
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Organization Information

Wild Chimpanzee Foundation

Location: Leipzig, Germany - Germany
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Wild Chimpanzee Foundation
Emmanuelle Normand
Project Leader:
Emmanuelle Normand
Dr
Leipzig, Saxony Germany

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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