PROTECTING THE WILDLIFE OF CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC PROTECTED AREAS
Chengeta Wildlife has signed a partnership agreement with WWF Central African Republic to provide training, mentoring and other assistance to rangers in Dzanga-Sangha in the south west of the country.
This important group of parks, reserves and forests is part of the Sangha Trinational UNESCO world heritage site and is home to many endangered species such as the Forest Elephant, the Western Lowland Gorilla and several seriously endangered species including the pangolin.
This is a vital project to help secure the long-term goals for the Central African Republic’s Dzanga-Sangha Protected Areas (DSPA) to protect the forest ecosystem and to promote sustainable development in the region.
THE DSPA AND THE WILDLIFE THERE
Dzanga Sangha Protected areas were created in the 1990s on the initiative of WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) as an area of exceptional natural importance. Indeed, this part of Central Africa encompasses a piece of tropical forest in the Congo Basin and is made up of unique ecosystems (swamps, salt marshes). It has a distinguished biodiversity with large mammals such as forest elephants, lowland gorillas, chimpanzees,bongos making it their home, but also by the presence of other species of small monkeys, the pangolin, antelopes, reptiles, birds and insects.
THE MAIN ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES
Rangers face many challenges in DSPA caused by illegal poaching activities, mostly controlled by transnational criminals and heavily armed poachers (often using war weapons due to recent socio-political unrest in neighboring countries), middlemen including corrupt enforcement agents and local authorities in charge of handing over the products from the bush to urban cities and kingpins connecting many different countries and regions).
There is an urgent need to provide an expert response, in the form of comprehensive training to local rangers, to this transnational nature of wildlife crime which includes ivory trafficking, bushmeat trafficking, the circulation of war weapons and ammunition, the significant presence of hunting weapons, night hunting, trapping by wire ropes and the illegal exploitation of diamonds.
CHENGETA TEAM’S ROLE ON THE GROUND
The Chengeta team of Rory, Franck and Yoann are already on the ground in Dzanga-Sangha. They are tasked with developing and implementing the expert doctrine, training the local rangers and imparting specialist knowledge & systems as well as advising/mentoring on how to run the operations so that the forcescan protect their own wildlife against poaching.
It is crucial that Chengeta raises enough funds to train, mentor and assist all rangers to help protect these endangered species with all money raised going to support the trainers, advisors, experts/specialists & research needed and to purchase specialised equipment, food, fuel, insurance & ammunition for rangers.