The Chinko Project sustainably manages a nature reserve in the heart of Africa – one of the last pristine mosaics of wooded savannah and tropical lowland rainforest deep within the Central African Republic. This project goes beyond conservation, it represents hope for stability and governance in one of the poorest regions on earth with an endless history of corruption, depletion of natural resources and military conflicts.
We are passionate about Africa – for both its wildlife and people – and believe there is a way for both to coexist. The Chinko Project, as a governance body, supports local communities, protects the ecosystem, and maintains economic value through tourism – providing the key to a sustainable future for this thriving ecosystem.
Humans have had a low impact on the Chinko/Mbari Drainage basin due to the fact that there are no permanent settlements or agricultural activities within the region. The Chinko nature reserve covers roughly 17,600 sq km of the basin’s southern part - representing a purely fascinating ecotone of rainforest and savannah.
The Central African people — mostly smallholder farmers living in the villages sedentary to the Chinko nature reserve, and transhumant herdsmen trespassing with their livestock to access the meat markets in Bangui — are among the poorest on the continent.
The Chinko Project offers an income, and stability to many of these families, and through the support of schooling programs gives the children a chance not possible until now.
The particular habitat of the Chinko allows for an incredible richness of species, and puzzling phenomena, making it a hotspot of biodiversity.
So far we've documented more than 75 mammals (including Wild Dog, Elephant, Lelwel Hartebeest, Eastern Giant Eland, Bongo, Lion and Leopard).
The Chinko Project Area's ecosystem is today facing two major pressures:
Armed Sudanese Herdsmen with cattle herds of more than 1,000 each come into the area for grazing - depleting the habitat in the long term and putting immediate stress on the wildlife.
Some actively try to clean the area off predators that would put their livestock in danger, while others have discovered the economic benefit of poaching and drying bush meat to trade on Sudanese markets.
Ivory poachers usually comprised of Sudanese professionals and rebel groups, threatening the small herd of surviving forest elephants in the region.
To reduce that pressure, we take action:
Conduct Research to better understand the complexities and trade chains underlying bush meat and ivory trade from Chinko to Sudan.
Provide Incentives for the herdsmen to pass through a designated livestock corridor as quickly as possible.
Inform herdsmen about possibilities of protecting their livestock against predators.
Build capacity by training and deploying Central African park rangers, and supporting local school programs to make people better understand the value of wildlife.
Monitor & Patrol the area with advanced surveillance strategies.
Detect & disarm poaching infringers inside the nature reserve and hand them over to the next state authority.
As a young Non-Profit Organisation working in a challenging environment, support is essential.
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We are very thankful by all financial and in-kind support by organisations (namely USFWS, APN, ANPN, BASEhabitat, the University of Fribourg, Panthera, the Foundation for Wildlife Ecology Basel and the CAWA), companies such as
and by the many passionate private supporters, including:
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