Human ability to exploit nature for livelihood is one of the key causes of biodiversity degradation. In Uganda natural forests used by the chimpanzees is under immense pressure. To address this, the Uganda Biodiversity Fund sub granted The Bulindi Chimpanzee & Community Project (BCCP) to implement the Habitat Restoration and Alternative Livelihoods project.
The aim of the intervention was to reduce pressure on the remaining natural forest used by chimpanzees. BCCP identified pressure hotspots and designed interventions to enable communities to engage in local livelihood alternatives such as restoration and conserving critical chimpanzee habitats, farming, producing sustainable timber woodlots, and making energy-saving stoves.
Community members were equipped with modern coffee farming skills, tree planting techniques, and making fuel-efficient stoves and extension support services.
These initiatives resulted in the establishment of over six hundred household coffee gardens and almost two hundred seventy acres of exotic spp. In addition, the community raised and planted over one hundred thousand indigenous seedlings of (Maesopsis, Cordia, Khaya) covering an estimated over two hundred acres and undertook enrichment planting of five hundred jackfruits to provide food for chimpanzees.
With this positive experience, the community a local women’s group registered as a Community-Based Organization (CBO) so as to continue with the work of engaging in alternative local sustainable livelihoods. The group has been able to receive resilience funding for the establishment of 2 plant nurseries. To generate sustainable tolerance towards chimpanzees local leaders and the community members were continuously engaged in chimpanzee conservation.