Mapping / GIS
The forests of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are one of the most globally important regions for biodiversity. The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) with support from the Arcus Foundation and The World We Want Foundation is leading a conservation action planning (CAP) process in the region.
Participatory mapping plays an essential role in JGI conservation initiatives, recording local perspectives and knowledge of landscapes and land uses and values. Through this process the complex interrelations between people and the places they live are brought to life in a view that incorporates socio-economic perspectives along with ecological ones. The common understanding that results allows communities to plan more effectively and take precious natural resources and habitats into consideration.
Clearing of forests and woodlands has one of the most devastating impacts on great apes, leaving them in isolated, small populations that face edge effects and elevated risk of extinction. Satellite imagery and GIS are powerful tools to monitor chimpanzee habitats and threats even in the most remote, difficult to access areas. JGI has been a leader in applying multi-temporal, multi-resolution satellite imagery to map and detect change in the distribution of chimpanzee habitats in Africa from local to regional scales.
Inclusion of human land uses is essential to effective conservation planning. Human land use not only triggers environmental impacts that must be taken into account but also drives an understanding of the important local needs met by the surrounding ecosystems. The resulting insights uncover the value of conservation to sustain and enhance livelihoods in local communities.
Local communities are the stewards of their environment and their participation is essential to mapping and monitoring the natural resources on their village lands. The Jane Goodall Institute's (JGI) community-based conservation approach is designed to empower local stewards in ways that benefit communities, as well as the environment that surrounds them. JGI has become a pioneer and leader in this emerging field as a result of our rapid adoption of new technologies to support community forest monitoring.
Dr. Lilian Pintea, the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI) vice president of Conservation Science, recently reported from Goma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where JGI is leading a workshop. The Conservation Action Plan (CAP) workshop is the first in a series of meetings planned to identify strategies and actions to reduce the threats to great apes and their habitat in a critical landscape of the eastern DRC. The CAP will target more than 66 million acres, which contain approximately 15,000 chimpanzees and somewhere between 3,000-5,000 gorillas.
The Jane Goodall Institute uses GIS technology to track deforestation and to work with local communities in land use planning as a means of protecting chimpanzee habitats.
Learn about JGI's work in Africa and around the world: chimpanzee behavioral research at Gombe National Park in Tanzania, our Tchimpounga sanctuary for chimp orphans, our work with communities to promote sustainable livelihoods, and our global youth program, Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots.