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As part of our work in the Firth of Clyde, we are supporting the Scottish Inshore Fisheries Trust (SIFT) to develop their capacity for fundraising and project development. This work supports a project that focuses on finding an alternative, sustainable model for fisheries within the Firth of Clyde. SIFT’s project aims to find alternative management solutions, which could provide the opportunity for ecological recovery in the Firth of Clyde while maintaining economic returns. Possible solutions might include looking for a more sustainable balance of prawn trawling, scallop dredging and other fishing practices (through zoning or other measures). As a result of FFI’s support, SIFT now has the required structures and funding in place to start planning and lobbying for alternative fisheries models on the Clyde. SIFT’s work is helping to demonstrate how pragmatic approaches can result in timely conservation gains and can complement broader planning processes conducted at the national level.
In the Philippines, FFI is supporting two indigenous coastal communities to establish the rights to manage their traditional marine and coastal resources. The project is building the capacity of key stakeholders to engage in coastal resource assessment and management, to understand relevant legislation and tenure, and to integrate local-level marine conservation issues into management planning for their Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Protection Plans. The project will document lessons learned on models of effective local indigenous marine management, and will encourage these to be shared with the authorities in order to inform subsequent policy decisions and encourage model replication.
Bali Province, Indonesia, has one of the highest levels of coral species richness in the world, and an associated abundance of marine fish as well as important marine ecosystems such as mangroves and seagrasses. Marine ecosystems in Bali face significant pressures from tourism and coastal development as well as threats from high levels of trade in marine ornamental species, and destructive fishing practices. FFI has identified key conservation responses to address the threats to a site in north Bali, and is developing partnerships with two local Indonesian NGOs in order to strengthen their capacity to secure long-term finance for the implementation and operation of a network of Locally-Managed Marine Areas in northern Bali.
Wolf Rock in Queensland currently supports half the pregnant female population of grey nurse sharks on the east coast of Australia and is the only known aggregation site where females gestate before returning to New South Wales to pup. Protecting such sites is pivotal to the survival of the species, yet we still do not know where the other half of pregnant females aggregate. Using a Geographic Information System, 200 sites have been identified that have similar features and habitat to known aggregation sites. Research teams are conducting habitat analysis and checking for sharks at these potential aggregation sites. Pregnant female grey nurse sharks tagged with special acoustic tags will then be tracked using underwater ‘listening stations’ installed at potential sites. The programme has been enabled through the collaboration of FFI; the Queensland Departments of Environment & Heritage Protection, and National Parks, Recreation, Sport & Racing; Burnett Mary Regional Group; Australia Zoo; and the University of Queensland.
Grey Nurse Shark Watch is a community-based photographic identification and monitoring project that is gathering information on grey nurse shark numbers, movements and distribution in Queensland, Australia. Every shark is different, with a unique pattern of spots, making photographic identification an ideal way to differentiate between individuals. Photographs submitted by volunteers will contribute to a national database on the grey nurse shark, which will be made available to stakeholders, researchers and managers.
As part of our work in the Firth of Clyde, we are providing support to a local community organisation to help them deliver and advance effective marine conservation. The ‘Community of Arran Seabed Trust’ (or COAST) successfully campaigned for the establishment of Scotland’s first ‘No Take Zone’ (an area closed to fishing) in Lamlash Bay, and are now involved in the active enforcement of this site. FFI has supported COAST to develop their organisational strategy and governance structures and is working in partnership with COAST to share their experience and knowledge with other coastal communities seeking a voice in the future management of their seas. FFI will continue to work with COAST to help document and share their lessons and experiences of establishing a No Take Zone with other communities, so that this approach can be replicated.
FFI continues to support the University of York with their research in the Lamlash Bay No Take Zone, one of only three small areas in the United Kingdom where all fishing is currently banned. The research seeks to establish the rate, trajectory and nature of recovery for commercially important marine species following the cessation of fishing. Strategic communications of the results seek to encourage consideration of the costs and benefits of protection in future management decision making, as the UK works to establish networks of Marine Protected Areas.
A new pilot project is underway to help the financial sector to evaluate the sustainability of the fishing companies in which they invest, and to apply stricter sustainability criteria in their credits and investments (as a means to improve the operations of the fishing industry at a large scale). Working through the trusted Natural Value Initiative (NVI), the project will support the development and testing of a benchmarking methodology in partnership with financial institutions, and will convene fishing, financing and NGO communities in a workshop to present results and generate buy-in for a full scale project.
Turneffe Atoll is the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere. Despite its high biodiversity and economic significance, it was the only substantial offshore location in Belize without meaningful protection. Unregulated development, mangrove conversion, and over-exploitation of fishery resources pose serious threats to the health and resilience of the Atoll. FFI has worked alongside the Blue Marine Foundation and the Belize Government, as well as the NGO and donor community, to catalyse the establishment of a new Marine Reserve on Turneffe Atoll, and to ensure financial support for the long-term management and enforcement of the site. FFI will continue to provide technical support to local partners to enable the formal designation of the area, and plan for strictly protected ‘No Take Zones’ (areas closed to fishing), with the full participation of stakeholders. We will also help to build the capacity of local institutions to lead its effective operation.
Gökova Bay in Turkey is dynamic and growing. While fishing is a major component of the identity of the local area, the bay is increasingly becoming popular with tourists due to its exceptional environment which could offer visitors (when developed responsibly) a unique experience to see rare marine fauna and flora. With funding from the Travel Foundation, the ‘Back to the Sea’ project takes advantage of the above factors by offering local fishermen relevant training, capacity building and access to the tourism industry in order to diversify their income by offering marine excursions to visitors, sharing traditional fishing knowledge, and communicating the importance of effective Marine Protected Areas.
The Gökova Bay Marine Protected Area is recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot, encompassing important seagrass beds, endangered dusky groupers, giant devil rays and Critically Endangered sharks and Mediterranean monk seals. FFI and local partners are working to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of marine resource management in the Gökova Bay Marine Protected Area. As a first step, the project will enable local community members to take an active role in patrolling and monitoring six ‘No Take Zones’ (areas that are closed to fishing) as a means to minimise illegal fishing activity, promote fish stock and habitat recovery, and raise awareness of the need to protect the marine environment for the benefit of local livelihoods.
In 2012, FFI started a new project designed to increase marine conservation capacity in Myanmar, in order to more effectively establish and manage Marine Protected Areas in the country. FFI will provide training to our NGO partner BANCA and the Forestry and Fisheries Departments in marine survey methods, community-based fisheries and Marine Protected Area establishment and management. Initially FFI and partners will work in two priority sites: Meinmahla Kyun (an ASEAN Heritage Site), and the Myeik archipelago (a priority site for coral reef conservation in Myanmar). Our target groups are local civil society organisations and coastal communities.
This project aims to improve understanding of the ecological, social and cultural significance of mangroves in the Lake Piso Multiple Use Reserve in Liberia, and to identify and manage the drivers causing their on-going deforestation. The project will improve the capacity of civil society to sustainably use and conserve this important resource, and will facilitate the participatory development of a science-based, locally-relevant management plan that can fit within the overall management strategy for the reserve.
The coastal systems of Aceh, Indonesia, contain some of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world, with Critically Endangered species such as leatherback turtles, and genetically unique species such as giant clams. To protect this from unsustainable fishing practices, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is working with coastal communities and the Government of Aceh’s Marine and Fisheries Agency, and through a scientific assessment this project has identified the biodiversity-rich areas. To secure these, FFI is empowering the customary leaders and coastal communities to work with local government in implementing a network of 23 Locally-Managed Marine Areas spanning 318,160 ha across the entire province. This co-management system uniquely combines customary marine law and government policy, and is being implemented through several core components: conservation capacity building of key stakeholders; marine policy development; establishment of conflict resolution systems; coastal community livelihood development; and coral reef and fish stock surveys to assess project impact.
Although people have lived there for centuries, the Zarand landscape corridor in Transylvania provides an element of wilderness through which large carnivores (such as the brown bear) can move between the Western and Southern Carpathian Mountains. Unfortunately, new developments and a shift away from small-scale agriculture are threatening this important area. By working in partnership with local people, FFI is helping to protect the corridor and its wildlife.
Building on Global Trees Campaign field projects, FFI/GTC is working with government institutions to design and implement training in threatened plant conservation for nature reserve and forestry office staff and other stakeholders, and to provide assistance with the development of a plant conservation strategy and action plan for some regions.
In 2000, FFI published a milestone report on the status of gibbons in Vietnam, which spawned much of our primate conservation work. In partnership with other organisations, FFI has been reviewing progress made towards gibbon conservation in the intervening years and improving understanding of the status of these highly threatened species. This is part of a regional approach which has also included conducting status reviews and developing action plans for gibbons in China, Laos and Myanmar.
China is host to approximately 40% of the 245 known species of magnolia, and 31 species have been identified as threatened with extinction in the wild. Since 2006, FFI’s Global Trees Campaign has worked with Kunming Botanic Garden and nature reserves to assess the population and distribution of ten priority species and to formulate conservation plans for selected species. Restoration of one priority Critically Endangered species, Manglietiastrum sinicum, has been undertaken within Wenshan National Nature Reserve in southeast Yunnan, accompanied by capacity building for the nature reserve and local forestry office staff, focusing on patrolling, monitoring, habitat management and awareness-raising.
FFI, BANCA and PRCF are currently completing a hoolock gibbon status review based on three years of nationwide surveys of hoolock gibbon numbers, assessments of threats to key populations and a plan for priority conservation actions.
In 2010, FFI and BANCA scientists described a new snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus strykeri, to science. Discovered in the watershed of the Mae River, a tributory of the Irrawaddy in Myanmar’s north-eastern Himalayas bordering Yunnan, this charismatic primate with a population of less than 300 individuals is threatened by Chinese logging companies and increasing hunting and wildlife trade associated with improved access to this remote area afforded by China’s largest hydroelectric investment project. FFI and partners BANCA and PRCF are developing local community-based conservation responses while lobbying China Power Investment to reduce its environmental impacts. The project area is located in a global biodiversity hotspot and FFI is developing interventions for several other threatened species, in particular red panda, takin and endemic pheasants.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has secured EU funding for a new long-term partnership programme to strengthen the capacity of local civil society organisations in northern Myanmar (Chin and Kachin States) to protect biodiversity through collaborative protected area management and community forestry. The programme is jointly implemented with our local NGO partner, the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA), and the People Resources and Conservation Foundation (PRCF). Key conservation sites are Natmataung National Park and Indawgy Wildlife Sanctuary. Natmataung (Mount Victoria) National Park protects mountain forest ecosystems which are well known for their endemic plants and birds. This includes threatened species endemic to the Eastern Himalayas such as Blyth’s Tragopan and white-browed nuthatch. Indawgy Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is Myanmar’s most important site for migratory waterbirds, while the surrounding watershed forests are critical for the conservation of eastern hoolock gibbons.
In Southern Palawan, FFI is contributing to a pilot project exploring how to improve forest governance and sustainable upland development through climate change mitigation financing strategies. Our partners for this project are Nagkakaisang Tribu ng Palawan (a federation of Palawan Tribal Groups), Environment and Legal Action Center, Institute for the Development of Educational and Ecological Alternatives Inc., Municipality of Quezon, Palawan and Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme.
A Sumatra-wide tiger survey in 2010, completed through a partnership between several international conservation NGOs (including FFI) and the Indonesian Department of Forestry, has produced the most up-to-date and reliable assessment of Sumatran tiger conservation status. The FFI sites of Kerinci Seblat National Park and Aceh were highlighted as being critically important for long-term tiger survival. The survey also identified the west Sumatran landscape that connects to Kerinci Seblat as being data deficient but as having high potential. In combination, this contiguous landscape forms one of the longest forest corridors in Sumatra. Building on previous successes we are assessing threat status in this corridor in order to develop and implement appropriate conservation intervention strategies to mitigate tiger threats.
The Mentawai Islands are being rapidly degraded by unsustainable logging and conversion to agriculture. Hunting pressure remains high, resulting in a rapid decline of Kloss’s gibbons along with other endemic primates. While Siberut’s forests are partially protected by a National Park, the other islands (Sipora, North and South Pagai) aren’t offered such protection and are facing an even more rapid decline of habitat and species.
This new project will assess threats to habitat and Kloss’s gibbon populations, develop a Kloss’s Gibbon Conservation Action Plan, and facilitate the establishment of local multi-stakeholder conservation consituencies. Rather than FFI being solely responsible for the implementation, the project will build capacity of counterpart staff at the Siberut National Park, the Mentawai Nature Conservation Department and local NGO partners, as well as forest concession staff, to raise awareness for gibbon conservation, improve forest and protected area management and facilitate the development of local conservation consituencies for four selected priority sites. The project will also collaborate with the district government to develop a more environmentally sustainable spatial plan that ensures protection for gibbon conservation priority sites.
Nusa Kambangan is an 11,500 hectare limestone island just south of central Java. It has good forest cover in the south and has mangroves in the north. Due to the presence of several prisons on the island, the forest has remained relatively undisturbed compared to Java and it retains some rare and endemic flora and some charismatic fauna such as the milky stork, the lesser adjutant stork and a small number of Critically Endangered Javan leopard. As part of work done with the cement company Holcim Indonesia which has a quarry on the island, FFI discovered 40 species new to science and developed a management plan which is now being implemented by the company. FFI continues to give attention to the endemic plahlar dipterocarp tree with local partners.
Lombok is facing major challenges to its energy supply for household cooking and rural industries. The dominant fuel, kerosene, is no longer subsidised, which has led to unsustainable wood fuel use, causing deforestation and watershed destruction within and around Gunung Rinjani National Park, across the major agricultural watershed in Lombok, and in neighbouring islands. The substitute fuels that are currently available have generated different economic and environmental issues.
FFI is working on a project (funded by the NL Agency Global Sustainable Biomass Fund) which aims to promote the sustainability of certified candlenut and castor bean biomass chains. The project is a consortium of international businesses and local partners.
Since 2006, FFI has been exploring ways in which emerging Payments for Ecosystem Services mechanisms can be harnessed for the benefit of conservation and local communities. The core idea behind REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, plus enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries) is to make performance-based payments to forest communities who help reduce emissions by conserving their forest. To succeed, REDD+ requires a broad set of policies and institutional reforms that clearly define land tenure and carbon rights.
To help with this, FFI has secured a three million Euro EU-funded project on ‘Developing community carbon pools for REDD+ projects in selected ASEAN countries’. The project has been designed to build the capacity of local communities and local governments to actively participate in REDD+ pilot projects in Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia and to feed lessons learned into policy dialogues at sub-national, national and regional levels. The project also supports the design and implementation of pilot REDD+ projects, with the aim of establishing social and environmental safeguards and ensuring equitable benefit sharing.
FFI is working with the Cambodian Fisheries Administration to assess the status and distribution of marine turtles, protect priority areas and raise awareness of turtle conservation on the coast and islands of Cambodia. We are conducting interviews in coastal areas to learn more about turtle activity, sightings, habitat use, nesting sites and trade. Hawksbill turtle nesting sites have been discovered on one island, and we are working to ensure that these are well protected. We are conducting further beach surveys to search for more nesting sites.
Cambodia’s islands are surrounded by coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangrove forests. Coastal areas owned by the government are being leased to various companies as economic land concessions to accelerate the country’s development. FFI is working with coastal concession holders interested in low impact tourism with the objective of conserving island and marine biodiversity and involving local communities in the sustainable use of natural resources. Working alongside the Cambodian Fisheries Administration, the project will strengthen in-country knowledge of marine biodiversity and support the design and implementation of Cambodia’s first Marine Protected Area, proposed around two large offshore islands.
The largest mid-altitude rainforest in southern Africa, Mount Mabu in Northern Mozambique, has only recently come to the attention of scientists who have discovered a number of endemic and range-restricted species. FFI is working with local partners to develop a Community Protected Area for the rainforest on Mount Mabu, and to support a livelihoods programme which focuses on providing alternatives to the shifting agriculture which is so prevalent in the area.
The most significant tract of Chocó rainforest in Ecuador, the Awacachi Corridor, was in grave danger of being converted to pasture and palm oil plantations. This would have destroyed vital habitat for the Endangered great green macaw and many other threatened species as well as jeopardising a crucial wildlife corridor.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) stepped in to help Ecuadorian organisation Fundación Sirua to protect 10,000 hectares of forest. Our core work here is to maintain and improve biodiversity through reforestation, biodiversity monitoring and conservation enforcement by locally trained rangers selected from neighbouring communities.
The Brazilian business sector is beginning to embrace corporate social responsibility and a major component of our work in Brazil is to engage with companies to help them manage their dependencies and impacts on the environment. FFI is working in partnership with a range of companies in Brazil to help them improve their policies and implementation of best practices relating to biodiversity. We are also building the capacity of local NGOs to engage with businesses and monitor the impact of these partnerships on the conservation of biodiversity.
Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) is a community-led initiative, supported by FFI since its inception. It represents politically and socially marginalised pastoralist communities in northern Kenya, who depend predominantly on a livestock-based livelihood system. NRT, with the support of FFI and other institutional partners, such as Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Kenya Wildlife Service, is working to develop capacity and self-sufficiency of community conservancies in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. NRT is Kenya’s single largest community conservation programme, and currently works with 20 community conservancies covering an area of more than 19,000 km2.
The south Kenya coast, from Msambweni to Vanga on the Tanzanian border, is an area of outstanding natural beauty that harbours highly significant marine biodiversity including black corals, mangroves and seagrass. Small islands within the area provide overwintering and feeding grounds for birds, as well as important nursery and feeding habitat for five species of sea turtles and dolphins. FFI is supporting communities living along the coast to take greater role in the management and care of their marine resources through participatory management and the diversification and development of sustainable livelihoods. A network of seven Community Conserved Areas has already been established, some of which are now reporting a marked decrease in the use of illegal fishing gear, alongside improvements in overall ecological health.
On the north coast of Kenya, FFI is continuing to support individual communities to become effective custodians of their natural resources through the establishment and strengthening of community-based institutions, and the implementation of community-led actions to improve the sustainable management of marine and coastal resources from the Tana Delta to the Somali border. The project will facilitate greater coordination and cooperation between communities through the development of an umbrella organisation that will represent shared interests and offer a platform for addressing large scale threats and challenges affecting the marine and coastal environment of the north coast.
Aceh’s coastal systems contain some of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world, with Critically Endangered species, such as leatherback turtles, and genetically unique species, such as giant clams. The marine life around Aceh’s outer islands is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and, more immediately, unsustainable fishing practices.
FFI is working with coastal communities, especially their customary leaders, and local government on the islands of Weh, Simuelue and Banyak to implement a network of Locally Managed Marine Areas that will uniquely combine customary marine law and government policy within a co-management system.
Building on our experience of Marine Protected Area governance in Ecuador, Fauna & Flora International and partner FFLA are forming a new regional collaboration to enhance marine habitat conservation across Central America, focusing on Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua.
This initiative will benefit from lesson-sharing with experienced regional and national partners: CoopeSoliDar R.L, RECOTURH, FUNDENIC and FFLA. We are focusing on addressing common themes of marine governance, participatory processes for natural resource management, spatial management and access rights.
Offshore and deep-sea fossil fuel extraction is growing but it poses serious danger for marine wildlife and ecosystem health. FFI is advising the oil and gas sector on the need for risk and opportunity management regarding marine habitats. FFI also encourages good stewardship and the potential for biodiversity offsets in both global and local ocean programmes.
Fauna & Flora International is supporting Grey Nurse Shark Watch – a community-based photographic identification and monitoring project gathering information on grey nurse shark numbers, movements and distribution. Every shark is different, with a unique pattern of spots, making photographic identification an ideal way to differentiate between individuals. Photographs submitted by volunteers will contribute to a national database on the grey nurse shark, which will be made available to stakeholders, researchers and managers.
Wolf Rock in Queensland currently supports half the pregnant female population and is the only known aggregation site where females gestate before returning to New South Wales to pup. Protecting such sites is pivotal to the survival of the species, yet we still do not know where the other half of pregnant females aggregate. In the second part of the programme, using a Geographic Information System, the team prioritised 200 sites that share similar features and habitat to known aggregation sites. Over the next nine months, research teams will be deployed to potential aggregation sites to conduct habitat analysis using side-scan sonar and remote operated video whilst checking for sharks with baited underwater cameras. Pregnant female grey nurse shark tagged with special acoustic tags in southern Queensland in November 2011 will then be tracked using underwater ‘listening stations’ installed at potential sites.
The programme has been enabled through the collaboration of Fauna & Flora International, the Queensland Department of Environment & Resource Management, Burnett Mary Regional Group and the University of Queensland, with the generous support of Australian Capital Equity and Australia Zoo. The Grey Nurse Shark Watch database is hosted by Reef Check Australia.
This 150,000 hectare protected area of limestone mountains still appears to have a relatively large and viable population of the southern white-cheeked crested gibbon, which is listed as Endangered by the IUCN.
In 2011, FFI and the IUCN initiated activities for the protection of this species and other endemic wildlife using a community-based approach which includes social surveys, awareness-raising, participatory conservation planning and community-based patrols and monitoring.
FFI, with the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, is undertaking reconnaissance and ground surveys to verify anecdotal sightings of the Critically Endangered northern white rhino and developing action plans to be implemented should animals be found. These efforts could represent the last chance to save this subspecies and re-establish this flagship of South Sudan’s natural heritage.
FFI is supporting the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, focusing on raising the capacity of state-level wildlife forces to manage its reserves and parks. This work has begun in Western Equatoria, where we have established an operational base in Yambio, and we hope to expand our ground-based, practical approach to the Lakes, Unity and Western Bahr-el-Ghazel states. We are also working with the Ministry in Juba and assisting in the formulation of new policies and regulations concerning the wildlife and tourism sector.
FFI is working with the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism in Western Equatoria to restart management of the western sector of Southern National Park (South Sudan’s oldest and largest national park). We are involved in anti-poaching training and wildlife monitoring, supporting scout deployment, road and infrastructure development, and equipment provision. This protected area support will extend gradually to the other sectors of Southern National Park and to the small but biologically rich forest game reserves of Bangangai and Bire Kpatuos along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
FFI Cambodia’s newest project seeks to improve management of Cambodia’s severely threatened coastal and marine ecosystems. The team works closely with the Fisheries Administration on species and habitat conservation, including protection of coral reefs and the Critically Endangered hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricate. Our purpose is to put the necessary capacity in place to establish the first model large-scale Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Koh Rong Archipelago. The proposed MPA will encompass over 400 km2 of ocean, including fringing reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds. This MPA aims to achieve sustainable utilisation of fisheries resources, while encouraging tourism, contributing to poverty reduction, and maintaining a healthy ecosystem. As most of the Cambodian coastline and islands are leased for future development, it is essential that such initiatives include private concession holders. The project is engaging with multiple-stakeholders including tourism operators and government officials. We are building the capacity of community-based organisations, representing local marine resource users so that small-scale fishers can directly engage in MPA resource management, working with and supported by government.
This initiative aims to prevent destruction of the threatened and highly carbon-rich Ulu Masen forest in Aceh Province, Indonesia, by generating tradable carbon credits and directing a proportion of the profits to local communities. In February 2008, the project became the first REDD project to be approved by the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.
FFI is using our community and conservation expertise to advise the Governor of Aceh in both the design and implementation of the project on the ground.
The Iberian lynx is the world’s most threatened cat species, due to a catastrophic combination of habitat loss, decline in prey and incidental and intentional killings. By working with Portuguese organisation Liga para a Protecção da Natureza, FFI is engaging with state and private landowners to ensure the creation and management of a continuous cross-border corridor of habitat to link fragmented lynx populations across the Iberian Peninsula.
FFI has been instrumental in the establishment and development of a network of 138 community-based organisations linked together through three regional associations. These grass roots groups have implemented local community initiatives which have brought sustainable livelihood and environmental benefits to rural mountain communities. FFI aims to strengthen the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of these organisations by providing them with the training and targeted experience exchanges needed to improve their ability to manage, plan and implement community development activities.
The Central Tien Shan mountain range is a crucial refuge for the charismatic but Endangered snow leopard. FFI has been working there since 2005, helping the staff at Sarychat-Ertash Reserve to combat poaching, monitor snow leopards, and engage communities. FFI has expanded its focus to include working with the Naryn Reserve, another snow leopard stronghold in the Central Tien Shan, to strengthen its technical capacity. We aim to enable both reserves to deliver more effective management, as well as enhancing ecological connectivity between the reserves, and improving community outreach in support of snow leopard conservation.
FFI is actively conserving the Endangered Niedzwetzky apple, one of the trees identified in The Red List of Trees of Central Asia. We are increasing knowledge and protection of the areas where it occurs and building capacity among the local forest service, protected area staff and local communities to protect and reinforce the populations by propagation in nurseries for subsequent planting. During 2010 and 2011, well over a thousand saplings were planted in the forest, which are now being cared for and monitored.
The unique fruit and nut forests of Central Asia have declined by at least 80% over the last 50 years and are still under threat from grazing, hay making, over harvesting, illegal tree cutting and firewood collection.
FFI and our partners are helping the local forest service and communities to plan together to protect and manage the forests. Through seminars, events and publications we are raising awareness of the global importance of the forests and the conservation issues, as well as developing practical solutions to address threats, such as solar cookers and heaters. We are also supporting grassroots initiatives to engage school children in setting up nurseries to grow threatened trees for planting in the forest.
Georgia is home to the Asian leopard, grey wolf, brown bear, Eurasian lynx, and many other carnivore species. Unfortunately, these animals are coming under threat from illegal hunting, retaliatory killing due to conflict with livestock farmers, and a general lack of concern and awareness regarding biodiversity and the benefits of conservation.
FFI and Georgian partner NACRES (the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation and Research) are addressing these threats by improving law enforcement, biological monitoring and community outreach. We are also working with shepherds to improve stock protection and to mitigate the loss of livestock to wild predators. We are continuing to raise public awareness of wildlife loss and we are conducting surveys and research on the endangered carnivores of Georgia.
FFI’s ‘floating classroom’, the EcoBoat, has taught thousands of Vietnamese school children the importance of balancing their nation’s economic development with preservation of the natural environment and biological diversity. During their day trips in magically beautiful Ha Long Bay, a World Heritage Site, the students explore caves and mangrove forests, interview fishermen and women and take part in lively debates.
The EcoBoat has been absorbed into the government’s Ha Long Bay Management Department but is intended to evolve into an independent civil society organisation.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, a World Heritage Site, is the richest location for primates in Indo-china, containing ten different primate species. FFI has been active there since 1998 and is now supporting the management authorities to protect the park and its biodiversity. We are helping to establish a scientific research team to enhance knowledge of the park and advise on community-based Forest Patrol Groups.
In addition, FFI works to improve local people’s livelihoods by establishing forest gardens which create habitat corridors, helping to maintain the forest’s ecosystem services.
FFI is working with local people, tour operators, local authorities and nature reserve staff to develop sustainable community-based tourism around Pu Luong Nature Reserve in northern Vietnam. We aim to provide a source of income for the local Thai and Muong people to help reduce unsustainable use of the forests.
The widespread collection of firewood damages the fragile karst ecosystem, which supports a huge array of threatened species. Thus, the revenue from tourism will help to conserve the biodiversity and natural resources of the local landscape.
FFI has been in the vanguard of organisations developing models to involve local communities in conservation in Vietnam. FFI will work to consolidate its experiences at three protected areas in northern Vietnam, each with its own set of opportunities and challenges. Through this project, in partnership with local organisation Pan Nature, we will support grass roots organisations and groups to develop roles in the management of local protected areas and collate the lessons learned to provide policy and practice recommendations to the national government.
In partnership with local NGOs, FFI is starting a new initiative to protect endangered primates and trees (such as Critically Endangered conifers and magnolia) at 11 locations within the limestone mountains of north-east Vietnam. We will focus on developing plans for conservation interventions in conjunction with local communities who have had little previous exposure to conservation but whose forests harbour important populations of threatened primates and trees.
FFI is supporting local communities to protect the critically endangered western black crested gibbon and its mountain forest habitat located at the south-eastern end of the Himalayan range. We have been working closely with local communities around the gibbon’s habitat for more than a decade, helping to develop one of the most innovative model programmes in Vietnam for involving local communities in conservation.
The elusive Tonkin snub-nosed monkey faces extinction unless the 200 or so remaining individuals are protected. After discovering a new population in 2002 in Ha Giang Province, FFI succeeded in addressing the short-term threat of hunting by advocating gun controls and establishing community ranger groups. We have also supported long-term research and in 2009 assisted the local government to establish a protected area for the species. In 2007 FFI confirmed the presence of another important, although precarious, population close to the Chinese border and is now actively conserving it through similar measures.
With about 100 individuals left, the cao vit gibbon is one of the most threatened primates in the world and in dire need of conservation support. Alongside ecological research and direct protection of the gibbon’s habitat,Fauna & Flora International (FFI) helps local communities reduce their impact on the gibbon’s forest home. For example, we have introduced fuel-efficient stoves to reduce the demand for fuel wood from the forest. FFI supported the establishment of a new protected area for the species in 2007 and is now helping staff to work with local communities to achieve the protected area’s biodiversity conservation objectives. This project is integrated with cao vit gibbon activities in China and Lao PDR.
FFI is working in partnership with the Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management (BMRG) to enhance conservation in the Burnett Mary Region of south-east Queensland. The region’s stunning Great Sandy Biosphere supports an especially diverse array of species and is an important stop-over for humpback whales.
A new partnership between FFI, Team Energy Foundation and the Non-timber Forest Products Task Force aims to ensure sustainable livelihoods for forest-dependent communities in a key biodiversity area in southern Luzon: Mt Irid-Angilo, Gen. Nakar, Quezon Province.
Together we will strengthen the ability of local governments and communities to protect forests and biodiversity whilst increasing income and employment from other sources such as locally governed Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) projects.
FFI is building the conservation capacity of our in-country partner, the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association, to assess the status of hoolock gibbons and red pandas in Myanmar. Together we will identify opportunities for community-based conservation in sites identified as high priority.
Interventions will address threats to the species and their habitat such as unsustainable logging and firewood extraction, shifting cultivation, hunting and wildlife trade. FFI is also promoting transboundary collaboration to better protect forest along the border with China’s Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve.
Laos is extremely important for gibbon conservation. It is home to six different gibbon species, including four species of highly threatened crested gibbons. With relatively large areas of forest remaining compared to most of its neighbours, Laos is the best hope for the conservation of some of these gibbon species, as well as other endemic plants and animals.
Together with the government and partner NGOs, FFI helped to prepare a national gibbon conservation action plan for Lao PDR, which was endorsed by the Lao government in June 2011.
FFI is implementing a Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) pilot project on community peat swamp forests in West Kalimantan. This initiative mobilises support from local government agencies, palm oil and forestry companies, NGOs and local communities to identify and assess High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) at concessions and landscape level. FFI has been conducting landscape-based HCVF assessment since 2007 in Kapuas Hulu and Ketapang Districts, West Kalimantan. The results of these assessments are used to support revision of spatial planning. FFI is actively engaging in the revision of spatial planning and provides support to local government.
FFI also works with the private sector within critical landscapes of Ketapang and Kayong Utara Districts. These critical landscapes consist of orang-utan corridor habitat connecting Gunung Palung National Park with the southern and northern peat swamp forest. This corridor overlaps with parts of two palm oil concessions. In order to develop further financial incentives for conservation of HCVFs in these landscapes, FFI is now exploring and testing various support/incentive mechanisms in concessions and community forest.
The Angke-Kapuk and Muara Angke wetlands and mangrove in Jakarta once played an important role in flood mitigation and biodiversity conservation, but are now degraded by development and waste. FFI is working with local grass roots group Jakarta Green Monster to reduce pollution in the Muara Angke Wildlife Sanctuary. Together we have established a wetland and mangrove education centre and encourage community interest in the wetland through school visits and media campaigns. The project also aims to benefit people from local impoverished areas through training in how to use waste materials to make saleable products, such as compost, bags and pencil cases made from recycled materials, and business cards from recycled paper.
FFI has signed a landmark agreement with resource company BHP Billiton to provide a platform for sustainable land use planning in the Murung Raya District of Central Kalimantan. This two-year partnership is contributing to the preservation of potential orang-utan habitat for the release of orang-utans from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation rehabilitation centre in Nyaru Menteng. In addition, we are assessing the viability of reintroducing orang-utans into the area, raising community awareness, supporting land use planning processes and providing capacity training for local conservation leaders.
FFI is helping local governments and communities in and around Gunung Palung and Danau Sentarum National Parks to protect orang-utans and their habitat. We are training patrol units specialising in orang-utans that will also have an all-encompassing responsibility for habitat protection. We place a high priority on combating illegal logging and poaching, (which directly threaten orang-utans), through preventative action, policy engagement, and awareness-raising programmes. We also support efforts to improve integration of conservation objectives into land use planning.
FFI has a comprehensive programme to conserve Sumatran elephants and their habitat around Gunung Leuser National Park in northern Sumatra through Conservation Response Units (CRU). CRUs provide a strong link between in-situ and ex-situ elephant conservation by employing captive elephants and their mahouts to patrol and protect important elephant habitat. The programme creates opportunities for local communities to participate and benefit from conservation initiatives and helps to reduce the impact of human-elephant conflict. The CRU teams also raise awareness among local people of the importance of conserving elephants and their habitat and help improve community livelihoods.
In 2006 FFI helped to form the AKAR Network of nine local NGOs in four provinces around Kerinci Seblat National Park. This formed the framework for collaborative campaigns against threats to the protected area and its buffer-zone, such as illegal road construction. We provide technical advice, and support AKAR Network on campaigning, fundraising and other activities. Our partners have developed community forest protection patrols, successfully defeated plans for conversion of forest to pulp timber and palm plantations and the construction of roads through the park.
In April 2010 we embarked on a new programme in collaboration with a local partner in Merangin District, Lembaga Tiga Beradik, to facilitate the establishment of eight legally recognised ‘Village Forests’ . These Village Forests will provide vital protection for critical Sumatran tiger habitat in the buffer-zone of Kerinci Seblat National Park. The programme will also focus on enhancing direct community benefits from forests (including linking communities to markets for high-value non-timber forest products) and laying the foundations for an innovative community carbon pool in western Sumatra to offer forest-edge communities access to the carbon trade by pooling multiple community-managed forests.
There are around 500 Sumatran tigers in the wild and just under 200 of them are found in and around Kerinci Seblat National Park – a World Heritage Site. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) works with the park authorities and local communities to strengthen protection through forest patrols and undercover operations to combat illegal trafficking of tigers and tiger parts. These efforts have led to the successful prosecution of dozens of poachers. Our team also conducts human-wildlife conflict mitigation, responds to wildlife emergencies and works to secure key tiger habitat outside the park. There is growing evidence that tiger populations are stabilising in and around the park.
In 2010, FFI responded to 491 incidents of human-elephant conflict, which benefitted over 1000 households. For the farming communities living at the Ulu Masen border, elephant crop-raiding represents one of the greatest threats to their livelihood. To help prevent this, FFI has established three Conservation Response Units (CRUs) in the conflict hotspots. The CRUs use once captive elephants and their mahouts for direct field-based conservation interventions. This project aims to support the conservation of wild elephants and their habitat while creating employment for people.
The principal threats to tigers across their range are poaching (of both tigers and their prey), habitat loss in the form of agricultural expansion into forest areas, and habitat fragmentation caused by road construction. Focusing on the Ulu Masen tiger population, this project will strengthen the conservation capacity of the government law enforcement agencies to tackle poaching and illegal logging and develop their partnerships with local communities opposed to these threats. Tigers will be monitored inside the forest using camera trap equipment. At the forest-edge community rangers will support affected villages to build tiger-proof livestock pens to reduce retaliatory attacks. The project will support the Government of Aceh to incorporate tiger conservation concerns into its policy development through the production of a technical report that assesses the environmental impact of planned road construction on tiger forest habitat and the completion of a human-tiger conflict protocol.
Aceh’s marine ecosystems were heavily damaged by the 2004 tsunami. So too were the communities’ fishing fleets. This meant local communities lost their ability to earn income from both fishing and tourism. FFI is helping to rebuild livelihoods by empowering poor families to re-establish sustainable small tourism-related businesses while protecting coastal ecosystems.
Reconstruction after the devastating tsunami has led to an unprecedented demand for Aceh’s natural resources, especially timber. FFI created this programme to help government and civil society partners to safeguard the Ulu Masen and Leuser forests, which cover a combined three million hectares and provide vital ecosystem services.
We support a wide range of activities including building the capacity of government forest protection agencies to tackle illegal logging and creating community forest ranger teams out of ex-combatants, ex-illegal loggers and ex-wildlife poachers. We are also involved in an innovative Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) initiative.
China is home to over half of all rhododendron species, including the world’s largest, the big tree rhododendron. Fewer than 100 trees of this remarkable species are known in the wild with any certainty, all in Gaoligonshan Nature Reserve in south-west China. From 2010 to now, FFI has worked with local partners through the Global Trees Campaign to improve understanding of the distribution and ecology of this species, how to protect it and how to promote its regeneration.
Yunnan Province has the richest biodiversity and the largest number of gibbon species in China. FFI is helping to coordinate gibbon conservation activities throughout the province, particularly for the western black crested gibbon and eastern hoolock gibbon. We are filling gaps in basic information on this species by collecting data in Ailaoshan National Nature Reserve and Wullangshan National Nature Reserve while working with the government to develop and implement species conservation plans. In addition, FFI is working with the management authorities of Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve to help conserve China’s population of eastern hoolock gibbons.
The Critically Endangered cao vit gibbon (the closest relative of the Hainan gibbon) was believed to survive only in one location in northern Vietnam until, in 2006, three more groups were discovered in adjacent forest in Guangxi Autonomous Province, China. Since then, FFI has been active on both sides of the international border to improve the cao vit gibbon’s chances of survival. In Guangxi we have been raising awareness among local communities and government and supporting the establishment of a provincial level nature reserve, and we have also provided patrol and monitoring staff. In partnership with one of China’s leading gibbon experts we have supported detailed research and observations of this previously little-known species.
The Hainan gibbon is considered the rarest ape in the world, with only two family groups known to survive in the zone core of Bawangling Nature Reserve on Hainan Island, off China’s southern coast. FFI is helping to increase awareness of the importance of this species through various initiatives, including supporting environmental education in schools and is working with nature reserve staff to improve their conservation skills and protect the remaining gibbon habitat on Hainan.
FFI believes that the traditional Tibetan way of life, based around herding livestock on the high altitude grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau, does not have to be lost to protect the region’s environment or to bring the communities out of poverty. We are working with local organisations and other groups to encourage grassland communities to form collaborative management committees, which serve as a forum for discussions on issues such as predation of domestic stock by wildlife.
The European Commission is funding two initiatives which aim to bring biodiversity into the mainstream of economic and social development in the Chongqing Autonomous Municipality and Guangxi Autonomous Province. In Chongqing, FFI has worked with the Environment Protection Bureau to map the key areas of biodiversity importance, write a strategic action plan, establish a preliminary monitoring system and make biodiversity part of the civil servant’s performance appraisal. Meanwhile, in Guangxi, FFI has worked with the Environment Protection Bureau and the Forestry Bureau to produce a consultative strategic action plan for the karst-rich south-west Guangxi. Together with the Chinese Government we have developed a biodiversity monitoring system and have collaboratively surveyed and formalised a new nature reserve to protect the endangered cao vit gibbon and have strengthened protection in another 14 nature reserves.
Our objective is to expand and strengthen the array of Nicaraguan government and civil society conservation organisations. FFl will continue its training programmes to build technical capacity and will complement these with improvements in organisational governance.
Current priorities are the strengthening of Fundación Entre Volcanes and other key institutions on Ometepe Island and developing a financially sustainable, participatory governance system at Chacocente Wildlife Refuge.
Situated in Lake Nicaragua, life on Ometepe is inextricably linked to the presence and influence of the island’s two volcanoes. The island contains all the major Nicaraguan habitats and is an important site for Pan-American migratory birds. FFI’s initial work to strengthen protected area management led to the island’s Maderas Volcano being upgraded to become a National Park encompassing an additional 4,000 hectares of forest. FFI also supported the Government of Nicaragua’s initiative to establish the whole island as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – a major international tribute to Ometepe’s cultural and biological wealth.
The Biosphere Reserve is an ideal site for FFI and partners to trial innovative approaches to – biodiversity conservation and sustainable local development – through improved environmental governance, landscape level planning and the promotion of sustainable forest-friendly livelihoods. We support biodiversity-friendly farming and tourism initiatives on the island, and work to build the resilience of Ometepe’s people and ecosystems in the face of a changing – and less predictable – climate.
The majority of Nicaragua’s population lives on its Pacific coast, thereby putting growing pressure on nearby natural resources. FFI aims to ensure the long-term conservation of Chacocente Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest tracts of Nicaragua’s unique mosaic of dry forest and Pacific coastal habitats. We are helping the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to implement the Refuge management plan and establish a system for increased community participation in management, whilst promoting sustainable alternative livelihoods, such as catering and other services to visitors.
Poachers are a serious threat to leatherback, hawksbill and olive ridley turtles on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast. They illegally harvest the turtle eggs along beaches and kill hawksbills to use their shell for jewellery. FFI has trained over 80 community members in turtle protection and hatchery management, achieving an impressive rise in hatching success on key nesting beaches, and protecting over 90% of leatherbacks nesting in Nicaragua and an estimated 50% of the known nesting hawksbill population in the Eastern Pacific. In addition, FFI has helped communities to find other ways of making a living (such as making handbags from recycled plastic bags) and has raised national awareness to reduce demand for turtle eggs. We are now maintaining all this work and extending protection to near-shore waters.
FFI first began working in Saint Lucia in 2000 and has been providing technical expertise on the development of forest management systems and biodiversity conservation there since 2008. We are currently helping the Saint Lucia Forestry Department and local communities to develop a sustainable harvesting programme for the lansan tree, a globally threatened rainforest tree whose valuable resin is used for incense in religious ceremonies. Also, in response to a local request, we are developing a new initiative to save the little-known Saint Lucia racer, which is now claimed to be the world’s rarest snake due to predation by Asian mongooses and other alien predators. This project will draw on FFI’s experience of rescuing the distantly related Antiguan racer.
In 2012, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and partners eradicated alien invasive black rats from Dog Island and two neighbouring cays in a major operation involving more than 50 local and international personnel. The need for this project was identified by the Anguilla National Trust and Department of Environment, who were concerned by the impacts these omnivorous rodents have on native plants and animals, including the island’s globally important seabird colonies.
The project team is now monitoring the effects of removing the rats, as well as establishing fences to exclude feral goats from the most sensitive areas. As Dog Island’s ecosystem gradually improves, FFI may also explore the feasibility of re-introducing other globally threatened and endemic Anguillan species.
This initiative was launched in 1995 as an emergency response to save the Critically Endangered Antiguan racer snake. Fauna & Flora International and our partners have increased the snake population from 50 individuals to more than 500 thanks to eradication of alien invasive rats and mongooses from 12 offshore islands, a re-introduction programme, and nationwide education campaigns.
The removal of alien mammals has also resulted in exponential increases in many other threatened and endemic fauna and flora on the offshore islands, which are maintained and monitored by trained local volunteers. We will assess the feasibility of restoring Redonda, a large volcanic island that has a unique and severely threatened fauna. We also intend to support conservation of the seas around the offshore islets (including the nation’s largest marine protected area, which stretches over 25% of the coastline).
The Ecuadorian government is striving to establish a system of Marine Protected Areas along its coast. FFI is supporting this process together with the national organisation Fundación Futuro Latino Americano and the Ministry of Environment. We are focusing especially on developing innovative participatory governance systems for the emerging protected areas.
We are also working with communities in the south of Ecuador to protect large areas of mangrove swamp and promote sustainable use of the crab and cockle populations that thrive there. FFI and partners are now forming a regional collaboration between Ecuador and initiatives in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, to advance innovative approaches to marine habitat conservation.
FFI has negotiated the acquisition of a 4,000-hectare property that contains a wide variety of habitats from cloud forest up to high altitude páramo moorland. Protecting this landscape is crucial for the security of water catchment areas of major importance for the capital city of Quito. This stunning and little-explored area is likely to be of extremely high biological value and FFI and partners will be surveying its species and putting in place effective conservation measures before major threats to the habitat materialize.
FFI is supporting Ecuadorian organisation Samiri Foundation to work with rural communities at Oyacachi in the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve, high in the Andean páramo ecosystem. We are working to restore the degraded páramo by supporting biodiversity-friendly livelihoods, such as the production of wooden sculptures which can be sold to tourists. With climate change threatening to dry out the páramo, protecting the area’s habitat can maximize the ecosystem’s resilience, maintaining its unique and threatened biodiversity.
FFI is working with the Italian energy company eni E&P, its Ecuadorian subsidiary Agip Oil Ecuador (AOE) and the Catholic University in Quito to create a model of good practice within the oil sector in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The university and AOE are investigating both primary and secondary impacts of oil production on biodiversity. The findings are being used to draft an action plan for AOE and to inform eni environmental management systems.
FFI is working with Fundación Sirua to reduce human pressure on the Awacachi Corridor by addressing issues of land tenure and promoting biodiversity-friendly products such as native bamboo and cacao, which can be grown under the natural forest canopy. We are also implementing environmental education programmes and strengthening Fundación Sirua’s institutional capacity. In addition, FFI is developing an ‘avoided deforestation’ project through the FFI-Macquarie partnership, in which the income from carbon credits can be used to finance conservation.
FFI is working to build local support for protected areas through innovative initiatives at the Lake Mburo and Rwenzori Mountains National Parks within the Albertine Rift. We aim to show that integration of local cultural values into park management can improve relations between park staff and neighbouring communities, resulting in more effective conservation. Results so far are positive – for instance, a cultural village has been constructed at Lake Mburo National Park to enable Bahima pastoralists to showcase their “beautiful cows” and to explain the cultural value of these animals to tourists and young Bahimas.
The Tongwe Trust is a small community organisation devoted to helping the Tongwe people protect and benefit from their ancestral land, which borders Lake Tanganyika, north of Mahale Mountains National Park.
FFI is harnessing support for the Trust to establish, protect and manage Village Land Forest Reserves, which will safeguard forests on village land that are critical habitats for chimpanzees and elephants. We are also helping the villages to develop sustainable use of forest resources.
FFI is helping our partner the Mpingo Conservation Project, which we helped to establish, to develop sustainable forest management amongst communities in south-eastern Tanzania. Their miombo forests contain mpingo, or African blackwood – the world’s most valuable timber used in musical instruments such as clarinets and bagpipes. Communities who collectively and sustainably manage their local forests can earn 100 times more than they did before, and certification to the Forest Stewardship Council standards is enabling them to charge a premium above illegally harvested timber.
The Kwakuchinja corridor is vital for wildlife movement between the Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks and so underpins the resilience of the wider ecosystem. FFI is promoting conservation of the area by securing threatened sections of the corridor through sustainable land management and livelihoods-driven approaches. We recognise the corridor as a resource for sustainable economic growth for local communities and so are ensuring that people can benefit from its conservation long into the future.
FFI has been working in partnership with the Department of Commercial Crops, Fruits and Forestry of Zanzibar since the late 1990s to protect the critical remnants of the coastal forest mosaic on Pemba Island and their resident endemic and Threatened Species, in particular the Pemba flying fox. This fruit bat was listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List of endangered species and is now listed as Vulnerable due to the successful conservation efforts of the department, the local communities and FFI. The project also seeks to develop sustainable livelihood options for communities on the Island.
The successful conservation of rhinos in relatively small secure fenced areas has been pioneered in Kenya. FFI is financially and technically supporting the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya to conserve their rapidly growing population of over a hundred black rhinos and white rhinos. The conservancy also generates surplus animals for re-stocking other areas. We are particularly involved in an initiative to re-establish the northern white rhino. The last four breeding individuals were translocated to the conservancy from a Czech zoo in December 2009. FFI is also part of the East African Community Rhino Management Group, which exchanges expertise and rhinos between the East African range states.
Thanks to a very generous donation from the Arcus Foundation, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) was able to protect 90,000 acres at the foot of Mount Kenya. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy contains the largest black rhino population in East Africa and is also home to a chimpanzee sanctuary. Ownership of the property has now been transferred from FFI to a Kenyan non-profit entity under a long-term management agreement which incorporates ecotourism and livestock marketing for financial security. FFI provides ongoing support towards their community development programme, conservation initiatives and guidance development through Board participation.
The western chimpanzee is the most threatened subspecies of chimpanzee; 75% have disappeared over the past 30 years. FFI is working in Guinea’s Nimba Biosphere Reserve and Liberia’s Sapo National Park to survey each chimpanzee population. Our support has led to local action plans to combat habitat loss, bush meat hunting and the increasing illegal trafficking of infant chimpanzees. We are also helping local communities develop cane rat, pig and fish farming as alternatives to hunting for bush meat, while developing a monitoring system to track the project’s impact on wildlife. Information will be shared with other conservation organisations working on Tiwai Island in Sierra Leone.
Fauna & Flora International is facilitating communication between the Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire authorities to manage natural resources more effectively in the highly biodiverse Nimba mountains.
Guinea’s forest elephants have come under increasing pressure from poaching, habitat loss and fragmentation, and conflicts with the human population. FFI is working in partnership with the N’Zérékoré Forestry Centre to develop a plan to protect elephants along their migration route between Guinea’s Ziama Biosphere Reserve and the adjacent Wenegisi natural forest reserve in Liberia. We are building the anti-poaching skills of Ziama reserve staff and raising awareness among local communities and other stakeholders on human- elephant conflict mitigation techniques. This work will also benefit other threatened species in the area, (such as western chimpanzees), and enhance regional collaboration on species-focused conservation programmes.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is supporting the Guinean government in managing the environmental impacts of mining concessions in the Nimba and Simandou mountains: Centre de Gestion de l’Environnement des Monts Nimba et Simandou (CEGENS). We began by helping to improve CEGENS’ infrastructure and equipment and are now focusing on developing their technical capacity to limit damage to these highly biodiverse regions. This work is currently being strengthened through a strategic partnership between FFI and United Nations Development Programme in Guinea for the management of the Nimba Biodiversity Project.
Though the brutal civil war ended in 2003, the ongoing fight over Liberia’s rich natural resources is still fuelling social, economic and environmental problems. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is helping the national government to introduce policies which integrate Community, Conservation and Commercial interests (known as the 3 C’s). Work on forest governance issues at the national level continues apace, including facilitating the drafting of new laws such as the Community Right Law and the Wildlife Law. Fauna & Flora International is also supporting the government in developing Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) pilot projects throughout Liberia.
FFI played a crucial role in the re-establishment of the country’s only national park, Sapo National Park, by working closely with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA). We now continue to support the FDA in park operations and ongoing training of park staff, together with ecological research and biological monitoring of flagship species. New species of fauna and flora continue to be discovered in Sapo, demonstrating how vital it is to conserve this West African wildlife refuge.
FFI is helping to establish Liberia’s first communally managed forests in three pilot areas by working closely with rural communities living outside Sapo National Park. This is complemented by an education programme which conveys the conservation message to communities through workshops, posters and even theatre. We are also implementing an in-depth study of the role of bush meat in local livelihoods to evaluate the potential for introducing viable and locally relevant alternatives. Bush meat makes up a significant share of the local protein intake, so it is essential to address the threat to wildlife in a locally sensitive way.
Fauna & Flora International is supporting local organisation Madagasikara Voakajy in its work to conserve rare bats, reptiles, amphibians and other small vertebrates found only in Madagascar. We are also helping them to safeguard critical habitats through community engagement, promote sustainable use of natural resources, develop education and awareness programmes, and improve career opportunities of young Malagasy conservation scientists.
At 42,000km2 – the size of Denmark – Niassa National Reserve is one of Africa’s largest and most undeveloped wild areas. It is home to thousands of elephant, sable antelope, zebra, and other iconic African species, including the second largest population of the Endangered African wild dog. FFI supports our partner Sociedade para Gestão e Desenvolvimento da Reserva do Niassa to manage and promote the reserve, in particular to develop human-wildlife conflict mitigation strategies and an integrated management plan for the Lugenda river, the source of a major fishery for local communities. Wildlife populations have doubled since FFI became active in Niassa in 2000 – a clear sign that we are having a positive impact on this unique protected area.
FFI is leading a strong conservation partnership of five organisations to protect the best known sub-population of the critically endangered Cross River gorilla at Afi Wildlife Sanctuary in Cross River State. We have established an effective protection and monitoring system at the Sanctuary, supported by the latest advances in geo-spatial mapping technology. FFI is also encouraging livelihoods that do not harm the gorillas or its habitat by helping local communities to use the forests around Afi and in the Afi-Mbe Mountains wildlife corridor in a sustainable way. Lastly, we are also investigating the exciting potential for revenue from both ecotourism and the carbon markets, which would ensure long-term protection of the forests and the Cross River gorillas.
South African-based organisation ResourceAfrica is in the vanguard of the new generation of charities in southern Africa that focus on the linkages between conservation and rural development. ResourceAfrica is currently active in raising awareness of environmental issues through community theatre and in the field of community adaptation to climate change. FFI aims to support the group in its work, both in community-based initiatives in South Africa and more widely throughout the continent.
Fewer than 900 mountain gorillas struggle to survive in Central Africa’s forests. The IGCP, a partnership between Fauna & Flora International, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the African Wildlife Foundation, supports transboundary protected area authorities in three countries to improve conservation of gorillas and their mountain forest habitat. The IGCP also improves local livelihoods, helping to mitigate threats to this Critically Endangered species.
Grauer’s gorilla can only be found in the mountains and transitional forests of eastern DRC, making the Kahuzi-Biega and Maiko National Parks vital refuges. The gorilla is endangered due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and the near breakdown of protected area management compounded by fierce civil war over the past 13 years. A catastrophic population crash is suspected across its range but the current status remains largely unknown. FFI is helping park authorities monitor gorillas, institute programmes to improve the skills and resources of rangers and facilitate community projects that address threats to gorillas and also improve the livelihoods of local people.
Garamba National Park in north-east DRC is a World Heritage Site and its extensive grasslands support priority populations of elephants and Congolese giraffe. FFI is working with the ICCN, the African Parks Foundation and local communities to address the threats to the park and its key species and habitats, primarily through implementing community awareness and conservation initiatives to garner local support for the park’s conservation.
Wildlife in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has suffered from ongoing human conflict over natural resources. The Congolese Protected Areas Authority (ICCN) has realised that conservation will only work if communities around national parks are supportive and involved. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) played a crucial role in helping the ICCN draft the country’s first community conservation strategy, providing guidelines for involving local people in the management of the protected areas and their natural resources. We are now supporting the implementation of the strategy in Garamba, Kahuzi-Biega and Maiko National Parks.
Brazil’s excellent legislation on creating private protected areas (PPAs) is proving an invaluable tool for conserving the country’s forests. FFI’s regional and Brazilian experience with PPAs lends itself well to our current focus, which is strengthening the support provide to protected area owners. We are also looking at ways to help address the critical need for economic incentives, such as payment for ecosystem services that can increase the viability and sustainability of conservation. We also intend to facilitate links between specific PPAs and potential sponsors, including corporations in Brazil.
Despite the global importance of the Brazilian Amazon and the official Brazilian government strategy to protect it, the world’s largest forest is threatened by cattle ranching, illegal logging, new access roads and agriculture. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been working to curb the advance of deforestation by supporting the Cristalino Ecological Foundation (CEF) and other partners to protect 6,000 hectares of private reserves adjacent to the Cristalino State Park which are critical to maintaining its integrity.
External link: Cristalino Ecological Foundation
The Ya’axché Conservation Trust, established over 10 years ago, is an organisation with substantial technical capacity and a growing impact and reputation in Belize.
As founder and partner, FFI will continue helping Ya’axché to become stronger and more sustainable, with high standards of governance, excellent leadership, operational efficiency and a bigger, more reliable revenue base. The latter is a top priority, since the management of the private reserve and Bladen Nature Reserve imply substantial fixed costs for the organisation.
Fauna & Flora International and the Ya’axché Conservation Trust are working to establish biodiversity-friendly community businesses in the Toledo district, one of Belize’s poorest areas.
Shade-grown organic cacao, organic vegetable production, and small-scale tourism initiatives will help to lift local communities out of poverty while ensuring the protection of the highly diverse Maya Golden Landscape. Community members are also trained in biological monitoring and participate directly in the conservation efforts.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and our local partner the Ya’axché Conservation Trust are engaged in an exciting initiative to develop a mosaic of community-owned land and conservation areas across the Maya Golden Landscape, from the forests of the Maya Mountains down to coral reefs and mangroves on the Caribbean coast.
Within this, Ya’axché manages one Private Protected Area, the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve, and one State Protected Area, the Bladen Nature Reserve. Bladen is the biological crown jewel of Belize’s protected areas system and plays a vital role in preserving the quality of the water draining onto the Belize Barrier Reef.
The Ustyurt Plateau is a temperate desert, covering an area of 200,000 km² which extends across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The plateau supports a unique but highly threatened steppe ecosystem, which harbours one of the last populations of the Critically Endangered saiga antelope. The saiga has experienced one of the fastest declines recorded for mammals in recent decades.
FFI is following an integrated and multi-faceted approach consisting of research, education and institutional support for governments and the private sector. We are also developing sustainable livelihoods and promoting transboundary cooperation to address the complex pressures that are exerted on the Ustyurt ecosystem.
Childukhtaron Forest has a wonderful mixture of walnut, apple, cherry, mulberry and juniper trees, making it globally important for biodiversity but also vital to local people’s survival. FFI is working with the Forestry Department, local communities and national NGOs to raise awareness and improve the forest management by strengthening the capacity of key-stakeholders to protect this threatened ecosystem. In particular, we are helping to build the skills of our Tajik partner organisation Zan va Zamin to provide training, mentoring and support in delivering small scale conservation initiatives in highly diverse forest habitats.
Zorkul Lake may sound like a place in a science fiction novel, but it is in fact a breathtaking lake in Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains. The 88,000-hectare Zorkul Nature Reserve is home to snow leopards, wolves and Marco Polo sheep, as well as Tajikistan’s largest population of bar-headed goose, which migrate to the lake across the Himalayas from India and Nepal each year.
FFI is helping the reserve staff to develop both the motivation and the basic skills needed to manage the reserve. We are using the bar-headed goose as a local flagship species for the conservation of the wider Pamir mountain ecosystem.
Tajikistan is a mountainous country with a rich landscape, wildlife and culture. Its biological richness is equivalent to Kazakhstan, a country 20 times its size. However its natural heritage is under severe threat from habitat fragmentation and degradation, soil erosion and unsustainable natural resource use. FFI is working to improve conservation impact in Tajikistan by increasing the capacity of current and future conservation professionals. We have established a national conservation training programme, working with a network of experts across the country to train hundreds of National Park staff and other practitioners, and promoting applied conservation research.
Romania contains vast expanses of natural and semi-natural ecosystems, including one of Europe’s largest areas of undisturbed forest. Although Romania has many protected areas, the administrations managing these parks urgently need to build their capacity to protect these living landscapes in the face of increasing industrial demand for land. FFI has helped to develop the country’s first protected area capacity building programme which is improving skills and knowledge for protected area conservation management, so far engaging with over half of Romania’s protected areas. FFI is also building local interest in ecological connectivity in vital regions.
FFI is providing technical expertise on the development of forest management plans and biodiversity conservation on the island of St Lucia. We are helping local partners to explore the potential for sustainable commercial timber extraction and non-timber forest products, as well as supporting them in placing an economic value on the ecosystem benefits the island’s forests provide, such as watershed protection and carbon sequestration.
Decades of under-investment in the education sector left the field of biodiversity conservation in Cambodia severely hampered by a shortage of trained biologists and reliable biodiversity data. To address this issue, FFI helped the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) establish Cambodia’s first Master’s degree course in biodiversity conservation in 2005. FFI and the RUPP co-deliver the MSc which has trained more than 100 Cambodians. From 2007-2008, FFI also helped establish the country’s first natural history museum and scientific periodical, the Cambodian Journal of Natural History. In 2011, FFI and the RUPP established an interdisciplinary research group and brought all of these activities together under the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation. CBC researchers are currently developing a monitoring programme for pileated gibbons in Bokor National Park, investigating the status of the endangered masked finfoot and fishing cat, and prioritising Cambodia’s bat caves for conservation protection.
The Critically Endangered Siamese crocodile is now extinct from 99% of its former range, following decades of hunting and habitat loss. Less than 250 adults remain, mostly in Cambodia. FFI is working with the Government and local communities to protect the remaining wild crocodiles and their habitat by developing crocodile sanctuaries protected by local community wardens. We also advocate for stricter controls over crocodile farming and trade and carry out research and monitoring. In 2006 FFI put together the Siamese Crocodile Survey & Monitoring Handbook and in 2009, FFI helped to discover 35 purebred Siamese crocodiles in a local wildlife rescue centre and has developed the first conservation breeding programme in the country – a vital source of genetic diversity for the re-introduction of the species into new areas.
There are currently estimated to be 400-600 wild elephants in Cambodia, with the main concentration located in the Cardamom Mountains in south-west Cambodia, and the eastern plains of Mondulkiri Province. FFI established the Cambodian Elephant Conservation Group (CECG) in 2005 to ensure the survival of the Asian elephant in Cambodia, stabilising and increasing wild elephant populations throughout the country. The group brings together three different institutions so that government and non-governmental wildlife managers act together to strike a balance between local community needs and elephant habitat requirements. FFI provides technical and fundraising support, complementing the expertise of government wildlife management agencies, the Ministry of Environment and the Forestry Administration. We are delighted that the project is now managed by Cambodian nationals who work with forest communities to reduce human-elephant conflict and raise awareness. The group also focuses on increasing government capacity, gathering vital information through camera trapping and habitat threat mapping and developing cooperation with neighbouring and other range states. This video provides more information about the impact of high level forest disturbance on human-elephant conflict in Cambodia.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is supporting the Ministry of Environment and the Royal Government of Cambodia in the conservation of the highly diverse Cardamom Mountains Range. These forested mountains represent some of the region’s largest remaining areas of habitat for more than 80 threatened species including Asian elephant and gaur. FFI is helping to manage and protect the 333,750 hectare Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary by training, equipping and advising a team of 51 government rangers who patrol the forest. We are also undertaking research and monitoring programmes to understand in greater detail the area’s biodiversity. Additionally, FFI is working with local communities, some of the poorest in Cambodia, to increase their overall standard of living.
The Bechati-Lebialem forest, which lies on Cameroon’s southern border with Nigeria, is home to a sub-population of the Critically Endangered Cross River gorilla.
When this sub-population was discovered in 2004, FFI stepped in to help the local organisation Environmental and Rural Development Foundation to build a community-based model for the conservation of great apes in the region.
FFI’s partner, the Flower Valley Conservation Trust, works to protect the fynbos, the most botanically rich habitat on Earth, located at the southern-most tip of South Africa. Together, we continue to develop and extend a financially and ecologically sustainable programme of conservation based on the marketing of wild fynbos flowers around the world, including Marks & Spencer in the UK and Pick & Pay supermarket in South Africa. FFI is also supporting the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, which aims to conserve the Agulhas Plain landscape through securing privately-owned land under sustainable land management and other innovative activities.
As the oldest conservation organisation in East Africa, the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) has benefitted from support from FFI. It has been extremely successful in combating rhino and elephant poaching in the past, but was struggling to function by the mid 1990s. FFI has helped to rebuild EAWLS’ conservation capacity and is currently supporting them in the development of a regional conservation plan focusing on their coastal and marine programme. The overall goal is to conserve biodiversity and improve the livelihoods of coastal communities through the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources in Kenya.
FFI has been working to protect western lowland gorillas in and around the Dja Reserve, a Man and Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site, since 2003. We are currently working with local partners in Cameroon to create an early warning system against poaching using FrontlineSMS and mobile phone technology. An important component of this work is the involvement of local communities through the established Village Ape Forum. The Forum facilitates the gathering and relaying of intelligence on the movements and activities of poachers to the Reserve’s central command units for rapid and targeted deployments of the protection and monitoring forces.