The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada: An Extraordinary Conservation Opportunity Protecting Chimpanzees in Eastern DRC through Community-Centred Conservation
JGI has been working in eastern DRC for the last three years through a partnership with a number of local and international partners, including The Union of Associations for Gorilla Conservation and Community Development in eastern DRC (UGADEC), Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), The Frankfurt Zoological Society and many others. These organizations all share the philosophy that effective conservation must begin with the needs and priorities of local communities. They have joined forces to support local communities, and protect great apes through a number of different initiatives.
The partnership is working in a three million hectare conservation corridor stretching from Maiko National Park and the Tayna Gorilla Reserve to Kahuzi-Biega National Park, in order to establish interlinked community forests and wildlife reserves that will form a corridor between the two national parks. This corridor is the last refuge for the eastern lowland gorilla, with only approximately 3,000 animals remaining, and is also home to an estimated 39,000 chimpanzees.
JGI’s contribution to the partnership is the implementation of community-centred conservation initiatives, including improvements to education and primary health care. The program is aimed at providing local communities with alternative livelihood opportunities and training in sustainable agriculture while also reducing population growth in the area, which lessens human impact on forest reserves. In combination with the other activities implemented by JGI and its partners in this landscape, the program plays a critical role in generating buy-in for the conservation work being done in the area.
In December 2012, JGI Canada, in partnership with JGI DRC and UGADEC, launched the next phase of their efforts -- a three-year project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to continue and expand the work we have been doing in the area. The project will directly benefit approximately 200,000 people living in Walikale and Lubutu territories, located in the Maniema and North Kivu Provinces, eastern DRC. The project will focus on providing improved education, health and alternative livelihoods, and on promoting environmental understanding and sustainable use of natural resources.
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If you need any further information about the Content of this Article, please contact Ms. Sara Hsiao, Coordinator, Conservation and Education , Coordinatrice de programmes, conservation et l'éducation, The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada is CBFP Member