• Threatened species conservation

Community led initiatives for the protection and conservation of Chimpanzees and habitats around the Bakossi National Park

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. Community led initiatives for the protection and conservation of Chimpanzees and habitats around the Bakossi National Park

Kupe Muanenguba Division found in the South West Region of Cameroon, is one of the biodiversity hotspots in Cameroon. This forest area is home to three main Protected Areas (PA), which are the Bakossi National Park, the Banyan Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, and the proposed Kupe and Muanenguba Integral ecological Reserves which make up the entire Bakossi Reserve. The Bakossi Forest Reserve is a 551 700 ha reserve within the Bakossi Mountains in Cameroon and is home to many rare species of plants, animals and birds with 849 species of birds, 190 species of reptiles and 297 species of mammals including chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes, EN) and drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus, EN).

 

The area is currently viewed as a critical point of focus as the rate of population expansion has had tremendous negative consequences on the environment particularly animal species and natural habitats. Non effective participation of local communities in the creation and management of these protected areas in the Bakossi Landscape with almost 80 villages approved the creation of the Bakossi National Park, less than 10% of those villages are contributing towards the protection of chimpanzees within the park and buffer communities. This can be a consequence of the no viable alternatives of illegal activities (the forests, encroachments, and increased Chimpanzee and other species trade within the area) and because they are not recognized as owners/custodians of these animals around them. A group of hunters kill a minimum of 5 chimpanzees every two months.

 

Centre for Community Regeneration and Development (CCREAD), created in 2006, has as main mission the promotion of the social and economic empowerment of people and communities through development and biodiversity conservation community led initiatives. The global purpose of this integrated conservation project is to engage local communities in the protection of Great Apes around the Bakossi National Park.