7 Mar 2019
Conserving Golden Monkeys in and around Volcanoes National Park through Establishing Sustainable Income Generating Projects for Frontline Communities
The aims of this project are to:
1) Generate a better understanding of human – golden monkey conflict around Volcanoes National Park in order to use the findings in designing appropriate strategies for managing the conflicts.
2) Conduct a series of education and awareness campaigns on golden monkey conservation for the communities living in the vicinity of Volcanoes National Park in order to lure them to support golden monkey conservation activities in and around the National Park
Human-Wildlife Conflict manifested in terms of crop raiding is a major concern in farmlands bordering the Volcanoes National Park. The endangered golden monkey (Cercopithecus kandti) whose population is believed to be declining is one of the major perpetrators of crop raiding. Their crop raiding behavior leads to ongoing conflict with the local community resulting into retaliatory killings and/ or traumatic injuries. The Government of Rwanda together with the park management and other conservation partners put in place various measures for addressing the problem (e.g. construction of the stone wall, digging of trenches, compensating losses, and several other strategies). However, these efforts have not yielded much in eradicating completely the problem of crop raiding.
Crop raiding animals continues to be a threat to farming activities undermining community livelihoods. This projects seeks to understand better human golden monkey conflict situation around the park and come up with workable strategies for addressing these conflicts. We shall start the project by conducting a quick survey that will give us a better understanding of the conflict situation. This survey will address key questions such as:
a) What are the golden monkey crop raiding patterns?
b) What are the golden monkey crop raiding hotspots around the Park?
c) Do communities living in the vicinity of the park know the conservation status of golden monkeys?
d) Do communities have any strategies in place to address human-golden monkey conflict particularly crop raiding?
e) How does crop raiding affect farmers’ livelihoods?
The information generated from answering the questions indicated above will be used in informing the design of workable strategies for minimizing crop raiding by golden monkeys which in turn will contribute to harmonious coexistence between communities and endangered golden monkeys.
Additionally, a series of education and awareness activities will be undertaken. The beneficiaries of these activities are crop ranger groups, farmer groups, Community Based Conservation Education Volunteers, and the local leaders. The sensitization workshops/trainings will be delivered on the basic biology of golden monkey, their role in the ecosystems, the importance of their conservation, and managing conflict.
Relevance of the Project
This project will lead to a drastic decline in golden monkey crop raiding incidences in farmlands around the park through formulating and implementing workable strategies for controlling crop raiding. Additionally, the actions and negative attitudes of frontline communities towards the endangered golden monkeys will also be changed due to the conservation education and awareness campaigns.