This Pandai Masuie Forest Reserve is at constant risk of poaching and wildlife trafficking due to its close proximity to international borders. The onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown measures have resulted in lay-offs in communities dependent on tourism. The local community now has limited income opportunities to support their families. The resulting poaching and timber harvesting activities could significantly impact biodiversity. This year alone, four elephant deaths by cyanide poisoning have been reported in the area. The park has also lost revenue, which has placed government agencies under tremendous pressure to maintain the park’s security functions. It is therefore critical to continue supporting the Forestry Protection Rangers.
- Support the Forest Reserve’s unit;
- Train rangers on camera trap technology;
- Ensure the engagement of the local community in livestock health and fence monitoring programmes, with the hopes that it will deter the local community from using the forest’s resources unsustainably.
- Provide equipment, protective gear and rations to all trained rangers;
- Train rangers on SMART CyberTracker software handheld devices and camera traps;
- Compile data from SMART CyberTracker software devices into monthly reports to assess patrol efficiency and track species;
- Train suitable candidates in the Fence Attendant Program, which will provide locals with employment and engage them in the maintenance of the fence;
- Conduct routine veterinary health checks on livestock, and provide treatment when appropriate.
This project is a part of the IUCN SOS African Wildlife initiative, which is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG Devco) through its B4Life initiative.