Partners work to expand sanctuary facilities and reconcile conservation with economic development

April 5, 2019

Arcus’ Great Apes & Gibbons Program grantees this funding cycle are focusing on the conservation of non-human apes, and making concerted efforts to integrate the needs of people—particularly vulnerable and forest-dependent communities—into conservation programming so that conservation and economic development are reconciled. Sanctuaries are also working to expand their facilities and increase training and staffing.

Save the Chimps will use its funding for organization and operational matters, including to hire staff, digitize records, and create a new clinical space. It will also establish a new philosophy of care in order to improve quality of life indicators for its chimpanzee residents. Ol Pejeta Conservancy, meanwhile, will focus on improving the long-term capacity of its sanctuary operations, as well as on increasing veterinarian capacity. It will also enhance the sanctuary’s vertical space (i.e., tall trees for chimpanzees to climb) and improve perimeter fencing, as well as create exit tunnels for chimp safety.

Similarly, Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue will create appropriate space and health care for chimpanzees, as well as strengthen management and veterinary functions. It will also continue training management staff and support expanded activities like social media use and events.

Biotope, meanwhile, seeks to reinforce the coexistence of humans and chimpanzees through holistic programming. Working in the Fouta Djallon region of Guinea, the organization strives to engage directly with local communities in order to better understand livelihood and cultural dynamics and achieve positive conservation and livelihood outcomes. It will also promote dialogue and share learning.

The Robert Koch Institute will focus on health strategies with regard to zoonotic disease transmission, which is one of the main drivers of global ape population declines. It will work to expand new methods of surveillance, sampling and data analysis at field sites, as well as standardize protocols across sites and developing site-specific guidelines around hygiene and vaccination to reduce the risk of disease transmission. By collecting data and building models that can be used across range states and amongst partners, this grant should mitigate some of the negative impacts of economic development.

Rainforest Foundation UK will continue its support of the Lomami National Park, focusing on building consensus between conservation NGOs and local communities in Democratic Republic of the Congo. The announcement of a new national park has created an important opportunity to engage with local communities in a way that would ultimately protect the habitat and its bonobos. The grant will develop a roadmap for improved consultation so that human communities can become allies.

Also receiving support this funding cycle are International Animal Rescue and Stichting Fern.