Across Laikipia County, Kenyan conservation organisations have successfully managed the transition from colonial-era cattle ranches to mixed-use cattle/game systems that have encouraged burgeoning wildlife populations outside formal protected areas. Preeminent amongst these is Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC), which holds a Key 1 population of black rhinoceros, and species that are in general decline including African lion and wild dog.
FFI’s work in Guinea focuses on the Ziama Massif forest and is part of the transboundary project with Liberia. Ziama – a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) – contains the last remaining population of forest elephants in Guinea and is therefore considered a priority site for forest elephant in West Africa. The aim of the project is to ensure that Ziama is an intact and effective Man and Biosphere reserve supporting viable populations of key species, co-managed and equitably benefiting local men and women.
A scoping study was conducted in 2014 - 2015 to help FFI formulate action plans to work with communities to restore two important forest connections between Budongo Forest and Mukihani, and between Bugoma and Wambabya forest reserves in the Albertine Rift in Western Uganda. This study produced a five year Forest Corridor Action Plan which has been used to inform further work in this area.
FFI also plays a lead role in the development and implementation of Species Action Plans. In 2013, the pygmy hippopotamus (PH) National Action Plan, supported by FFI and FDA, was finalised, presenting clear strategies for PH conservation in Liberia. Data collected regularly through transect and camera trap surveys in the SNP alone suggest that the PH density in the SNP is 0.45/km2, which has prompted FFI to plan a nationwide survey of the PH in Liberia.
Since 2012, FFI Liberia has led a national programme that focuses on building the capacity of the next generation of Liberia’s conservation professionals. This work has led to the establishment of the Sapo Conservation Centre, in the Sapo National Park (SNP), for training in and research into ecological techniques and conservation, as well as the development of two Biodiversity Conservation courses for the Forestry Department of the University of Liberia.
Consisting of 180,365 hectares, Sapo National Park (SNP) houses a mosaic of distinctive flora and fauna, such as the critically endangered West African chimpanzee, the endangered pygmy hippopotamus, and the vulnerable African Forest elephant. Due to the forest being entirely located within the Upper Guinea Forest ecosystem, one of the 34 most biologically rich and endangered terrestrial ecoregions in the world, the need to effectively manage the protected areas in this region cannot be overemphasised.
In 2016, following years of experience in the development and implementation of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), FFI began the application of a five-year project that will deliver a fully operational National REDD+ pilot in the community-state co-managed Wonegizi Proposed Protected Area (WPPA), helping at least 3,000 smallholders to sustainably manage land and natural resources.
In 2016, FFI established a formal partnership for coastal biodiversity conservation in Myanmar. The partnership collaboration focuses on providing technical and capacity building support for the marine science departments of Myanmar’s universities, in particular Pathein University, to lay the foundations for future involvement in biodiversity assessment, environmental impact assessments and monitoring.
The biodiversity of karst areas is poorly known and yet these systems are typically home to large numbers of severely range-restricted species. The major threats to karst ecosystems in Myanmar are poorly planned quarrying for cement, insensitive tourism, wildfires and hunting. Without attention to karst ecosystems and the species they harbour, extinctions are inevitable. Since economic sanctions have been lifted and Myanmar issued a new foreign investment law, construction is booming and so is the cement market.
Indawgyi Lake is Southeast Asia’s third largest lake with outstanding biodiversity and cultural values. The lake and its associated wetland is an important wintering site for more than 20,000 water birds. Seasonally flooded grassland supports a significant population of the endangered hog deer, while the forests of the watershed harbour globally threatened mammal species such as the eastern hoolock gibbon, Shortridge’s langur, Asiatic black bear, Chinese pangolin and gaur.