Background to the programme
P-WAC acts in a region of the DRC with a great lack of infrastructures and programmes for the conservation and protection of the environment and of biodiversity. Therefore it aims to develop such infrastructures and to sensibilize and then educate the local population on the importance of this action. As it is a very young project, P-WAC has only started to implement the first of its programmes, about chimpanzee’s protection. In the future it intends to set other programmes about research, structured education of the local population and eco-tourism.
Objectives of the programme
The final goal of P-WAC is the protection of the environment, in particular biodiversity. It focuses on the conservation of the chimpanzees and their habitat, and to do so it works with the local population and the public authorities in order to create the foundations for sustainable development. This involves education, research, infrastructures, and the active involvement of the local population, in particular of women, within the project itself.
P-WAC is focusing on the protection of chimpanzees, thwarting poaching and working on their rehabilitation in their natural habitat (chimpanzees are often used as pets, sold in the black market for exotic animals and hunted). It is building infrastructures in the forest which will allow to the team to settle and to implement all the tasks in the long run. It has set good relationships with the local population, and it has started to educate the adults through frequent meetings on the importance of the environment and animal protection. The chimpanzees are a key specie for the survival of the forest, and if they are not protected the nature will be destroyed and the poverty of the entire region will increase as it is happening in many developing countries.
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
The project is very recent and human relations, education and the rehabilitation of chimpanzees take years, so it is not possible to quantify the results yet.
The project is going to be very comprehensive : it focuses on the protection of a single specie of animals and to do so it works on an entire ecosystem, which includes humans. P-WAC is teaching to the local population the importance of biodiversity and especially of the chimpanzees in their region.
The project wants to include women community in the management of the programme. In conservation project women are rarely allowed to work, mainly because of the decisions of the chief of the village. They usually become food suppliers, but they are also willing to get an education and a job, so P-WAC will offer them both.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
P-WAC works with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and with some local NGOs. In Europe, it has a network of sponsors and partnerships.
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
In the DRC to collaborate with the local authorities and the public administration requires very long time and money and it is difficut to get the authorization to work in the area. Furthermore for the president of the organization it is difficult to work with the local population because of her gender: being a woman, she has difficulties to be seen as an equal by local interlocutors. The culture of the population is also an obstacle to the conservation activities because there is not awareness of the importance of the environment and hunting monkeys is a common practice. However, the village is willing to cooperate and people start to understand that they can get sustainable development and green tourism from conservation efforts. Security is another problem.
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
Suggestions for future improvement :
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :