Reduced poverty and save dwindled forest resources

June 14, 2017

Nigeria Placeholder
Nigeria

Reduced poverty and save dwindled forest resources

About the Implementing organization

Name: The Okwangwo Conservation Society (TOCS)

Country: Nigeria

Year of establishment: 2000

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Legally recognized non-profit status / Indigenous group or organization

Description

The Okwangwo Conservation Society identified poverty as a driver of forest resource degradation in forest communities around Protected Area. Okwnagwo villages live in the heart of Okwangwo Division of Cross River National Park. The communities are cut off from other villages with no access road nor business opportunities. They depend on wild resources for food and income. Men hunt for bush meat to supply protein, while most youth depend on fishing. At one time, this was sustainable, the population increased and added more pressure on dwindle forest resources. Even with that, the park rangers couldn't give a blind eye to illegal extraction of resources in the park so, there was confrontation and conflict resulting from resource use by indigenous people in the park. It was on this note that this innovative was introduce to seek for alternative livelihoods options. snail farming was introduced as alternative protein and snails are well known for their excellent protein contain. snails were collected locally and established snail farms. Beekeeping was introduced to provide alternative income sources. we used local materials to make bee hives and bait to enable bee to colonize. The projects are environmentally friendly and don't required expensive materials that local people cannot acquired to start up and it has proving to be sustainable. This generated income by reducing poverty and saving biodiversity.

Nature Element

Forests / Rivers / Wildlife

Type of Action

Protection / Sustainable use

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)

  

Environmental Impacts

The environment impact our initiative has had is on reduction of threats to wildlife and biodiversity in general such as habitat lost, hunting and forest fragmentation. Activities implemented help to reduced threats caused by resource users. Provision of alternative livelihoods such as beekeeping and snail farming have help to save the critical endangered cross River gorilla and other endanger species in Okwangwo. Local people were able produce honey and sold to bakeries in major cities. The demand of snails in restaurants in nearby towns was high. Beneficiaries couldn't only consumed snails as alternative protein but also sold and raise income. Income realized was also use to buy beef, poke, ice fish and other types of meat.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Beekeeping project has generated income for notorious hunters selected for the projects. Beekeeping was identified as the easy way of raising income. Beneficiaries were trained on how to farm bee with provision of beekeeping materials and bee-hives with support from European Outdoor Conservation Association and Prince Bernhard Nature funds. The hives were installed and bait. Honey has been harvested and sold by various hunters. Part of the money was used to maintain apiaries to keep the project on. Snail farming was introduced to eliminate hunting of endangered wildlife species such as cross river gorilla for bush meat and to provide alternative protein source to rural dwellers. Using local material, snails are collected from the wild and it yield quick result and is sustainable. The snail farming provided snails for household consumption and income for beneficiaries

Scalability

The action could be expanded to address same issues in community at the other side of okwangwo forest. While we work within the enclave to save forest, wildlife and protect our livelihoods, other communities are busy hunting animals that migrate to their areas of the forest. The effort put in by Okwangwo Conservation has gain recognisation from local government Area and the state. This effort attracted the support of Embassy Nigeria and Global Philanthropy Alliance to support our little effort to a large scale. We are proud that our little effort has not only change attitude of the people towards resource use but also brought economic benefits, reduce poverty and provide jobs for men. This also amplified our activities to a larger scale and we are now planning to extend our activities to neighbouring villages that post same threats to other side of Okwangwo forest

Replicability

This action is replicated because is easy to establish and it is perfect in solving the problem hunting and habitat lost. It is easy to replicate by other community members that are not direct beneficiaries and required local materials to start. The initiative trained local people on how to use diverse local materials in raising snails and bees for honey production. Though, the project target most forest depends people and disadvantage group. All community’s members were given opportunities to gain knowledge on the processes. This allow replication of the activities by individuals. Those selected were given materials to start. Other NGO, s such Biakwan Light, Boki Empowerment Initiative etc has replicated our activities to their project communities. Friends has contacted us from neighbouring cameroon villages for support. Our radio program in local FM station Ikom station with the theme "People and conservation" has enable surrounding communities to understand our activities

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