Ranger Training and Species Protection in South Africa
About the Project
Project: RESOLVE Species: Elephant/Lord Derby Eland Client: African Parks Network Area: Chinko Game Reserve Country: Central African Republic Funding needed: $452,000for Year 1 to enable ESPA to deliver a nine-month training deployment, which will up-skill the existing rangers’ capability to counter the poaching threat and increase capacity through recruitment of new rangers.
Chinko is one of the country’s only remaining strongholds for numerous species, including forest and savannah elephants (although the later may now be locally extinct), the highly threatened Lord Derby eland, bongo, and chimpanzees. Situated in east Central African Republic, the reserve provides a rare sanctuary for wildlife in a volatile region plagued by militarized ivory poachers and excessive cattle grazing by migrating Sudanese herdsmen, many of whom also poach for bush meat and kill rare carnivores. Unfortunately, heavy poaching resulted in a dramatic reduction in the numbers of African savannah and African forest elephants. The African savannah species now seems to be locally extinct, while just a few hundred-forest elephant remain. The Lord Derby Eland, which is one of Chinko’s most iconic species, requires urgent intervention.
Extreme poverty has resulted in a 95% depletion of all wildlife, making this one of the most crucial conservation projects on the continent. Chinko is a public-private partnership with the Central African Republic Ministry of Wildlife, Water and Forestry and African Parks Network (APN), which has a mandate to manage this important protected area for 50 years. This partnership ensures that Chinko supports local communities, protects the ecosystem, and maintains economic value through tourism. ESPA is committed to delivering a security solution to Chinko by the provision of bespoke ranger training developed with the reserve manager and APN policies. A four-year training strategy is currently being developed, but depends on funding. An initial nine-month training intervention is planned for an August or September 2017 deployment, but is totally dependent on donor funding being secured.
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