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Conservation Through People

The core of conservation is the people who live adjacent to or inside conservation areas. It has therefore always been the goal of forward thinking conservationists to involve the local communities that surround the conservation areas that are under their charge.

Dont Buy MeIn Lubumbashi, DR of Congo, a chimpanzee rescue center, Jeunes Animaux Confisques au Katanga/Young animals confiscated in Katanga (J.A.C.K), has been involving the community in the conservation of primates through education. J.A.C.K receives an average of 12,000 visitors each month who come to learn about the rescued primates, their life in the wild and what they need to do to save them. Majority of these are Congolese school children. Roxane, one of J.A.C.K's managers wrote in their at WildlifeDirect:

We are convinced Conservation is possible through Education only. That’s why in 2009 the Education Program of J.A.C.K is on the agenda : it is very urgent to start working with schools. Not only because the species is in danger but also because the children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow.

In Shimoni, Kenya, the Friends of Shimoni Forest, a volunteer group of individuals who work towards the conservation of Shimoni Forest with the support of Global Vision International – Kenya (GVI Kenya) are taking conservation to the people in a more hands-on fashion. They work with the communities in conserving the Forest.

Some community mambersRecently they reached out to their neighbouring community previously not involved in their work. The had discussions women and youth groups in the village of Anzwani on how to conserve and utilize the forest in a more sustainable way.

Conservation to the Friends of Shimoni Forest is possible if alternative livelihoods can be adopted to replace forest depleting livelihood practices. Drew, an American volunteer from California, wrote on the GVI Kenya blog at WildlifeDirect:

Alternative livelihood is the best way we can encourage conservation, and the people of Anzwani village are ready and willing. We made some really great friends today and I can’t wait to start working with them.

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