|Categories||Communities, Education, Mammals, Primates|
|Date||13 Jul 2018|
This project through education and raising community awareness will be carried out in the two sectors namely Mutuntu and Twumba adjacent to the NNP precisely at Gisovu site situated at the northern part of the park.
This site with approximately 50 Km2 hosts 25 to 30 semi habituated chimpanzees and is one of three sites of the park that host chimpanzee communities.
Gisovu site’s chimpanzees are facing various threats mainly caused by anthropogenic activities due to the poor knowledge and insufficient community awareness.
It is in this regards this project was proposed for sustainable conservation of this charismatic species through educating and raising awareness within different community groups living around this site.
The origin of this work rooted from the conversations I had with local communities when I was conducting my previous research in Nyungwe National Park precisely at Gisovu site. I have found that chimpanzees were facing food scarcity where anthropogenic activities like illegal tree cutting of the young trees and some branches of the plant species that serve as chimpanzees’ food sources was observed. I have asked some communities who are behind this illegal activity and they told me that the trees are being cut by local communities mainly for agricultural purpose like using them as support for their climbing beans, passion fruits or tomatoes. I realized that the root cause is poor education and awareness raising on how communities are threatening chimpanzees because for them (communities), they think that threatening chimpanzees is only poaching them and they don’t think that they are threatening chimpanzees when they cut trees in the species habitat while the species are free to move everywhere in the forest as they want.
So, we saw that education and awareness raising are urgently needed before we think about helping these surrounding communities in getting other possible alternative solutions to save this charismatic but endangered species at this site for its sustainable conservation and economic development of our country.
This project is intended to promote the conservation of the chimpanzee of NNP precisely at Gisovu site through education, community awareness raising, creating synergies among local authorities, researchers and communities towards sustainable conservation of the chimpanzees around Gisovu site and adopting possible alternative measures to protect plant species that serve as chimpanzees’ food sources and habitat.
Read about Jeanette's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/jeannette_batamuliza or for more information contact: