The national event

On the 19th of May 2022, CCFU will hold a national stakeholders’ dialogue on culture and the conservation of the chimpanzee focusing on forest corridors restoration in Bunyoro and chimpanzee conservation outside protected areas.

The dialogue is expected to provide opportunities to strategise for the restoration of forest corridors for chimpanzee conservation, especially using culture and community resources, share key insights on emerging trends of chimpanzee conservation outside protected areas and a platform for reflection on various conservation efforts.

Stakeholder collaboration has been highlighted as a key force in taking the conservation work forward. The role of Private Forest Owners (PFOs) has been found to be critical, and is worth sustaining and expanding. Non-Governmental Organisations, cultural structures and local communities that protect wildlife complement the work of state agencies such as the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the National Forestry Authority in protecting the chimpanzee and its habitat.

To foster knowledge sharing and strengthen collaboration among stakeholders, CCFU has over the years organised “Culture in Development” training sessions and stakeholder dialogues which, among others assess the value of culture in conservation, and how cultural and community resources can be harnessed for this role. CCFU is organising another such stakeholder dialogue.

Using culture to strengthen collaborative conservation of chimpanzees in Uganda

Over the past 7 years, CCFU has conducted research and implemented interventions aimed at using cultural and community resources for the conservation of the chimpanzee, especially in the Rwenzori and Bunyoro regions.

With support from the Arcus Foundation, we are implementing a 2-year #CultureForChimps project (2021-2023) in Bunyoro and Rwenzori sub-regions to strengthen the conservation of chimpanzees, through cultural mechanisms.

This project involves working with cultural leaders, private forest owners and the youth. Intergenerational dialogues between youth and elders, including cultural leaders, to facilitate cross-learning. This is to particularly highlight the culturally-relevant conservation mechanisms and the roles and responsibilities both the youth and elders can perform to conserve the chimpanzee. To raise awareness among a wider population of the youth and actively engage them in chimpanzee conservation efforts, games and sports were identified as a key mechanism. Therefore, a football tournament was established which is organised each year of the project cycle.