Signs of Change Begin by Bringing Information to the People
In order to raise public awareness around the issues facing chimpanzees and great apes, we have to go where the people are. As a part of our Environmental Education and Public Awareness program, JGI erected billboards in Uganda, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of Congo written in both French and local languages. The signs display messages of warning, describing the punishments for killing or capturing the government-protected primates. They also implore local people to take pride in these animals as a national treasure, and do their part to take care of them.
Since their construction, we have been able to measure attitudes and awareness in Republic of Congo, and in that area there has been a decrease in captive chimpanzees confiscated by wildlife authorities. These billboards are expanding public knowledge and changing attitudes about the importance of chimpanzees and other ape species.
Photo credits on this page, top to bottom and left to right: JGI/Fernando Turmo