Editor’s Note: Safari Hunting is good for communities and conservation – see African Indaba 12-4 (July 2014) for more previous articles on “The Chinko Project”. Well-known professional hunter Erik Mararv, was one of the initiators of Chinko which sustainably manages one of the last pristine mosaics of wooded savannah and tropical lowland rainforest deep within the Central African Republic. This project goes beyond conservation; it represents hope for stability and governance in one of the poorest regions on earth with an endless history of corruption, depletion of natural resources and military conflicts. The Chink Project as a governance body supports local communities, protects the ecosystem and maintains economic value through tourism thus providing the key to a sustainable future for this thriving ecosystem. Also read in the same issue “Blame War, Not Safaris” by Louisa Lombard, New York Times OP-ED Contributor.
A lot has happened since the last time we wrote you!
Basic Field Ranger Training: We completed our third selection and training of new rangers. Today the Chinko Project has 61 rangers who are deployed in the Ngoy protection area.
Eco-Monitors: We have recruited and trained 20 Eco-monitors that work as an extension of the Rangers; and have been gathering information for our scientific research through over 60 camera traps, line transects and sample collection. Construction and Infrastructure: We have put a lot of effort into building our headquarters. Our offices are now finalized along with the garage and storage area. The first section of the accommodations has been completed and we are preparing to start on the second section. We have opened over 250 km of road to extend our control and allow better access, and we are now gearing up to build bridges over the Mbari and Nzako rivers.
Community: We have continued to develop our community engagement strategy. In the coming months we look forward to launching our school project and our awareness campaign as well as our teacher-training program.
Animals: It has been exciting times in Chinko with a lot of animal presence – except for the regular nightly visits in camp by a curious hyena. We have had elephants and lions moving close by. In less than a year Chinko has been able to confirm the presence of more than 15 different animal species in the Chinko Project Area that were not known to occur in this region before. These findings confirm how important the area is for wildlife, and serves as tremendous motivation to continue our efforts to protect this area.
Planning: Chinko Project’s senior management team attended the African Parks Network’s yearly management meetings in South Africa in early September, where concrete plans for the coming year were made. As the rainy season makes it difficult for us to move on the muddy roads, we spend time catching up on work, training staff and preparing for a very busy, and very exciting, 2016! We look forward to continue to share our efforts, challenges and discoveries with you. And we thank you for your support. Want to stay tuned? Sign up for The Chinko Project Newsletter here. Or read past publications and view thousands of photos.
Author: The Chinko Team