Background / Issues:
The project, which involves a variety of leading public and private partners, received a three-year, $2.7 million (USD) grant from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania.
The Wild West Project is a collaboration between the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to support biodiversity conservation and improve natural resource management in northern and western Uganda.
The Wild West Project:
Through the hard work and determination of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) staff, and thanks to United States Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS), the Congolese government and supporters like you, the expansion of the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve is a reality.
In the spring of 2011, the Congolese government ratified a decree to expand the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve (TNR) by 750 percent. JGI's Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in Africa, lies within the current boundaries of the TNR.
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.
JGI’s Applied Conservation Science Program provides the detailed census data that is essential to conservation planning and assessment. To be effective, the conservation community needs to know the distribution, status and trends of great ape populations. Identification of human threats in specific landscapes is also critical.
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.