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 governing body, supports local communities, protects the ecosystem, and maintains economic value through tourism – providing the key to a sustainable future for this thriving ecosystem.
Chinko Project is a proud member of African Parks
Historically, 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 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 offer children a chance for learning 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).
Currently, the Chinko Project Area's ecosystem faces two major pressures:
Armed Sudanese Herdsmen with cattle herds of more than 1,000 each travel through the area allowing their animals to graze – contributing to long-term habitat depletion and putting immediate stress on the wildlife.
Some actively attempt to clear the area of predators that could endanger their livestock, while others have discovered the economic benefit of poaching and drying bush meat to trade at Sudanese markets.
Ivory poachers usually comprised of Sudanese professionals and rebel groups, threaten the small herd of surviving forest elephants in the region.
To reduce such pressures, we take the following actions:
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 non-harmful possibilities of protecting their livestock against predators.
Build capacity by training and deploying Central African park rangers and supporting local school programs educating people about 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.
The Chinko team is looking for apprentices passionate towards the important wildlife conservation that we do and willing to give up the frills of city life to work and learn in the bush.
We are continuing our journey of building up a new wildlife reserve and are offering the unique experience of being there nearly from the ground up. This includes creating new roads, building ranger housing, repairing vehicles, setting up camera traps and doing all of the hard work that is behind all of the reports, highlighting conservation and projects with brightly colored pictures of animals and terrain.
We are looking for hard working people that are up for a challenge and a completely new and unique experience while learning from the ground up; people that can handle heat, rain, mosquitoes, tse tse flies, language barriers, and way too much peanut butter!
Yet, at the same time we offer an incredibly rewarding—both personally and professionally—experience you will never forget.
The apprenticeships offered not only have the goal of improving the Chinko Project, but also seek to prepare apprentices to eventually lead their own teams.
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