Article written by Njinkeng Relendis
The capacity of some local community members around Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary has been enhanced in great-apes conservation during COVID-19 period. This was achieved during a two-day workshop which took place in Buea on the 13th and 14th of April 2021 at the Conference hall of the Regional Delegation of Research and Innovation.
This workshop was organized as a result of great apes habitat being under threats due to unsustainable human activities such as deforestation for agricultural purpose and illegal hunting and trapping. These human activities on great apes habitat are always caused by economic hardship and lack of local community members’ knowledge on the importance of great apes.
During the workshop the Chief Executive Officer of Association for Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Development (ABCARD), Mr. Enokenwa Allen Tabi schooled the participants on the importance of conserving biodiversity in general and great apes in particular. In his words he said “the local communities found around the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary are blessed with lots of species in general and great apes in particular but these species are gradually getting extinct due to unsustainable human activities. In this light I call on you all to go back to your various communities and educate your community members on what you have learned. Engage in alternative livelihoods while we continue to solicit funding to support the community members.”
“I am very excited for the knowledge I have gain in this workshop and I now see conservation of great apes as a collective measures and not an individual activity and I promise to engage my community members in ensuring that great apes and other biodiversity species and their habitat are protected” said Solomon, one of the participants.
This workshop created impact as; an exhaustive list of threat to great apes in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary was established and workable solution put in place, alternative green livelihood options were identified and prioritized, a learning group of ten (10) members for great apes conservation created and engagement with the beneficiaries of alternative livelihoods (members of Mundani Farmers’ Cooperative Society) signed.
This project has been funded by the People and Conservation Learning Group (PCLG) Small Grant scheme. The PCLG Small Grant scheme is coordinated by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) with funding from the Arcus Foundation. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of IIED or the Arcus Foundation.