Africa Window: PRCF Nigeria
In Nigeria, PRCF partners with the Tropical Research and Conservation Centre (TRCC), a local non-government organisation that focuses on sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation, and preservation of community forest resources.
With TRCC, we are presently establishing programs to support community-based species and habitat conservation in the south an coastal area of Nigeria, focusing on building local community capacities for conservation management. As the program develops, we hope to establish a more formal collaboration with TRCC, where our efforts would include additional support to the organisation through technical and financial resources. Thus far our joint efforts target protection of the critically endangered Niger Delta Red Colobus, the vulnerable Red-capped Mangabey, and three threatened species of sea turtles occurring in the Akassa coastal region. Most of our programs are still in the planning stage, although TRCC has initiated some conservation awareness activities in Akassa, and through PRCF core funding TRCC has started social forestry activities to protect Red-capped Mangabey habitat.
Red-capped Mangabey Community Conservation Project
Environmental education and training
Through PRCF’s support, TRCC is working with the local community nearby the forest habitat of Red-capped Mangabey, to establish a tree nursery and to plant native tree species to help rebuild key habitat to the primate. Thus far close to 2,000 trees, many of which produce fruit to feed both mangabey and local communities, have been planted. Additional activities at the site will include enrichment planting of degraded forests, and training on and establishment of assisted natural regeneration areas.
Activities under the Red-capped Mangabey conservation initiatives, as well as endangered sea turtles and conservation of the Niger Delta Red Colobus include research into priority conservation areas for these species and their present population status at project sites. We only carry out action-oriented research used to support our conservation programs, for example to inform our conservation planning which in most cases includes the establishment of species conservation action plans.
Akassa Community-based Sea Turtle Conservation Project
With TRCC, we are presently working to establish and initiate conservation efforts on the south-eastern coast, in the Akassa region, to protect vulnerable and endangered sea turtles, including the Green, Leatherback, and Olive Ridley species. These sea turtles are threatened by hunting and egg-stealing by local people living in poverty. We aim to work with local villages to establish livelihood alternatives, increase conservation awareness, and establish community-based sea turtle conservation and monitoring groups to breeding sea turtles, their nests and their hatchlings.
Niger Delta Red Colobus Habitat Restoration Project
In tandem with other conservation activities under development, we are are currently currently defining a program to protect the highly endangered Niger Delta Red Colobus, one of the World’s Top 25 Most Endangered Primates. With an estimated population only about 500 individuals, the species continues to be threatened by hunting, habitat destruction, and pollution.
Through this new and upcoming initiative, we plan to research needs of the Colobus and work towards its conservation with local communities. With five villages in the species local range, we will collaborate with villagers to develop a conservation action plan for the species at the target site, and begin to establish assisted natural regeneration and enrichment planting forest plots to restore its critical habitats, and provide community training in sustainable agricultural practices.