The Chimpanzee Trust will be joining the International Community to celebrate the 3rd World Chimpanzee day 2020 (14th July) in honor of mankind’s closest living relative, the Chimpanzee.
World Chimpanzee Day 2020 is a celebration of chimpanzee and an opportunity to raise awareness about the needs of the worldwide participant in their care, protection, and conservation in the wild and captivity.
This year, we;
- Celebrate our closest living relative in the animal kingdom.
- Share understanding and inspire action by educating global audiences about their uniqueness, importance, and similarities to humans.
- Raise awareness about threats the chimpanzees face in the wild including habitat loss, diseases, wildlife trafficking &promote their proper care in captive situations
As Chimpanzees are continuously threatened by the habitat loss, disease, wildlife trafficking, and illegal hunting, the World Chimpanzee Day 2020 provides the ideal opportunity for the Chimpanzee Trust to focus its commitment to reduce conflicts between chimpanzees and humans as part of its mission to sustainably conserve chimpanzees in their natural habitat and provide optimum captive care to those that cannot survive in the wild.
In commemoration of the World Chimpanzee Day, Chimpanzee Trust will showcase its achievements of the field program in conserving the chimpanzee habitats to mitigate the Human-Wildlife Conflict along the Albertine Rift. Due to the current restrictions on travel and gatherings, we shall showcase our achievements virtually.
Chimpanzee Trust Offers a Livelihood for Communities in the Albertine Rift
Chimpanzee Trust is in its third year of implementing the “Community Adaptaiblity to loss occassioned by Wildlife” project. This project is equipping the communities most affected by Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) with skills and tools to develop their own solutions to the mitigation of such conflict to the benefit of both species. The project has been funded by UK’s Darwin Initiatives program.
Human-Wildlife Conflict is one of the biggest problems faced by farmers living within the chimpanzee corridors in the Albertine Rift corridors of Western Uganda. The project is working with 32 villages surrounding the vulnerable Bugoma Central Forest Reserve, home to over 650 chimpanzees and a host other indigenous flora and fauna. The project shall empower the communities in this area, to set up agro-enterprises resilient to the effects of wildlife, and build reserves, in organized community-based farmer groups, to sell their produce collectively, add value, and cover losses that may be occasioned by wildlife.
As part of the activities of the project, 256 village farmer groups have been formed and 384 leaders from these groups have been trained in the establishment and management of Village Saving Groups (VSGs) under the project. VSGs play a critical role in bringing financial services to rural communities. This training was conducted by the local Community Development Officer, responsible for helping community form and sustain community development projects, etc.
Community leaders learned skills of; group formation, group dynamics, sustainability, the making of a constitution, and the registration with the Local Government. VSGs help build community networks that discuss their problems and devise their solutions. The groups meet weekly and contribute shares to the saving groups.
The majority of households in western Uganda rely on agriculture as their primary livelihood occupation, of which 79% carry out subsistence agriculture. As such, Chimpanzee Trust has distributed planting seed and seedlings for non-palatable crops like Soybean, Ginger, Irish potatoes and Onions. Additionally, live fencing seedlings (Kie Apple), have been given to farmers affected by human wild conflicts in 10 villages, as pilot physical barries.
Over 183 farmers are beneficiaries of the project through growing of the non-palatable crop. The Chimpanzee Trust in partnership with other partners has created market linkages for all the enterprises for the project.
With support from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Uganda Country Office (Environment Department) and National Forestry Authority (NFA) Hoima Sector Office, the Chimpanzee Trust was endowed with 50,000 seedlings, of indigenous species, for distribution to its partner farmers in this project area.
Bugoma Forest landscape has a high rate of forest loss due to conversion to farmland for subsistence and commercial agriculture, leading to local climate-change and amplifying human-wildlife conflicts, this loss is threatening the survival of viable chimpanzee populations, a key flagship species for conservation in Uganda.
Furthermore, it threatens the maintenance of vital ecosystem services, including water catchment protection, pollination, soil fertility and biomass, and many others.
Chimpanzee Trust Community Education
Other than habitat restoration in Hoima district, Chimpanzee Trust through its education program has embraced the production of radio drama as an efficient and effective means of increasing the awareness of the public and specifically the communities living close to wildlife, on the importance of the wildlife and the environment in which they live.
Over the last 3-4 years, we have worked with students from the local secondary schools to record 2 seasons of a now popular radio drama “Ekijja Omanyire”, which translates to “Forewarned, forearmed”.
This drama depicts the lives of the communities in the area, that live next to forest habitats, rivers, and woodlands, where they come across wildlife and especially chimpanzees. It looks to teach listeners how to ‘behave’ in such environments to conserve it so they can reap the benefits for generations to come.
This year, the Chimpanzee Trust, in collaboration with the Kiziranfumbi Secondary School and the Munteme Vocational Technical College in Hoima district, has recorded 30 new episodes for the next season, to premiere on the local radios. These episodes shall be aired, once a week, (with a repeat in the week), over the weekends over the next 12 months.
Additionally, new conservation education materials like the children’s reading book with stories on adaptation, avoidance, and mitigation of Human-Wildlife Conflicts have been distributed to students ages 7 to 13 years.
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HAPPY CHIMPANZEE DAY
Partners in the Welfare of Wildlife