PARTICIPATORY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT IN BAMINGUI-BANGORAN NATIONAL PARK
ADAP’s first project started in the Central African Republic in 1997 to promote community-based natural resource management in the Bamingui-Bangoran region, in the north of the country. This region suffered from intense poaching, mostly by people from other regions. Field activities had to be halted in 2001, following the deterioration of the country’s socio-political situation.
AREAS OF INTERVENTION
Participatory wildlife management, development of income-generating activities.
- Village communities
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
- Ministère des eaux et forêts chasse et pêche
- Sous-préfecture de Bamingui
- Northern Region Development Programme (ECOFAC component)
- Société ” Les guides associés “
The near-absence of the Central African Republic (CAR) government made the Village Hunting Zone (ZCV) model set up with the support of the European Union’s ECOFAC program look promising. By retaining a significant share of hunting taxes at the local level, it would be possible to finance the management of these zones and contribute to local development. The Bamingui-Bangoran National Park, covering an area of 10’000km2, was not managed and its wildlife populations were rapidly decreasing.
The park still hosted all the savannah species of the northern CAR except for the black rhino, which vanished at the end of the 1980s. ADAP’s proposal to the Central African Ministry of Environment was as follows: after an initial phase of wildlife counts and establishing contact with the park’s riverside communities, define a division of the park and degazette a part to ensure the establishment of ZCVs. Although the Ministry was opposed to partially degazette the park at first, it authorized ADAP to start the collection of the data needed to materialize the proposal. ADAP recruited and installed a small team in Bamingui, equipped itself with a vehicle, and began the wildlife counting and contact phase with the villages. ADAP triggered the interest of a hunting company, the Society of Associated Guides, that contributed significantly in the field to provide the logistical support necessary for the project.
The wildlife counts in the whole park confirmed low densities for most of the large species (elephants, hippos, buffaloes, lions). Most of the large antelopes (roan antelopes, hartebeests, bushbucks) were still present, except species such as the Buffon’s cob. The derby Eland was present in large herds (70-100 individuals). The counts also confirmed a strong pressure from poaching by both foreign (Chad, Sudan) and riverside people. The villages and local authorities welcomed the project with interest. At the same time, contacts were established with the US Fish and Wildlife Service that expressed interest in the project.
Due to the civil war at the time and a significant deterioration of security, the project could not be implemented. The political situation in the country and particularly the repeated military mutinies led the US government to freeze all funding for CAR. The abandonment of this project was considered a failure by ADAP.
At the same time, however, it allowed for a better understanding of the conditions that are necessary to implement projects based on community management. Because, when security becomes the major issue for the populations, negotiation and consultation processes that are necessary for community management become impossible. Local actors no longer manage to enforce management rules and immediate survival logically becomes the primary concern.
SOME IMAGES OF THE PROJECT
12 villages of the Bamingui-Bangoran prefecture
150’000 CHF (personal funds from ADAP members)
Bamingui villager communities
Villagers’ committees Bamingui Community
|ADAP CH project supervisor
Mr. Yves Hausser
|Please contact us for more information|