|Date||24 Sep 2013|
Kikélé forest located in the town of Bassila is one of the last refuges for Geoffroy’s Colobus (Colobus Vellerosus) in Benin. In this locality, Geoffroy’s Colobus is considered by local people as their ancestors, that confers these primates a sacred character.
Unfortunately, Kikélé forest a reservoir of biodiversity is threatened by human activities such as deforestation, poaching and pollution. This is why an urgent need exists to review and assess the conservation status of Geoffroy's colobus in Kikélé and adopt news conservation strategies for sustainable management of the forest and its only primate species through ecotourism. The project will collect data on Colobus Vellerosus population size, ethnozoology, and threats in kikélé forest. Data will be gathered through direct surveys using line transect method and by interviewing people (hunters, farmers and former hunters, local authorities, etc.) using a questionnaire.
Secondly we will conduct information, education and awareness activities. We will achieve this objective through a series of 12 exchange sessions with population on topics of environment protection, conservation of biodiversity, protection of forests and wildlife with an emphasis on Colobus vellerosus, and ecotourism. The schoolchildren will also follow these courses through an environment club that we will create in the primary school. We will train the forest management committee members and the ecoguides to enhance their capacity for sustain management of the forest. A short documentary on Kikélé forest with a focus on the Geoffroy's colobus will be produced. The documentary will be widely disseminated and will educate local and national populations for a better conservation of Kikélé forest and will serve to promote the forest on the national and international level and therefore increase ecotourism tours in Kikélé.
Finally, we will elaborate with the forest management committee an action plan for Kikélé forest conservation and valorization through ecotourism. This action plan will serve as guidance for collective consciousness, decision making on Kikélé forest management. The project will enable the conservation of biodiversity and economic development of the Kikélé village.
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