Friday, May 21, 2010

Compelling Quotes about the OCP Education Team

Traveling throughout the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, often on bicycles and motorcycles, and working in small groups, the education team brings information to the Reserve's residents on sustainable use of their natural resources, ways to share those resources with wildlife to the benefit of all, and to generally improve the quality of life of the people of the Ituri Forest.

“We now realize that, if these threats are not tackled, our children will be poorer than ourselves”, people reported to GIC educator TOLIBA in Niania.

"We appreciate the support of your organization (GIC) to allow you come this far (to Isiro) on a very bad road to teach us about conservation. You should come back regularly, even though it is hard and costly”, said Thomas MISSA, Police Commander in Isiro.

“We need conservation lesson brochures you produced for all our primary schools, because their help teachers prepare their lessons and make up the mind of our children for their future responsibility on nature”, said Atilite BASONGA, a school director in Isiro.

“Bring more topics for radio programs, even though they are prepared in Kiswahili, as we are also experiencing more people from Kivu in this area”, said Michel ATONGBOA, Radio Nava Director.

“The last conference topic was very informative; we decided to repeat it on our radio programs in Mambasa”, said Nassor KABALA, Mambasa Radio Speaker.

    April Education Update from OCP

    Dear Friends,

    The Epulu team organized public awareness focus group discussion with a total of 121 women in 5 different villages on their role in natural resource utilization. I exchanged in Bunia with the District School Inspector and wait for written comments on our conservation lesson brochure for primary schools.

    Next educational activities in April include UNESCO-funded committee installation and training in Wamba, as well as a workshop in Mungbere, school conferences and seminar with officials in Isiro. I shall be out in the field as soon as I finish the French version of the quarterly report (probably from April 10 to 30).

    Marcel Enckoto, GIC Okapi Conservation Project Assistant Director

    May Update From the OCP Education Team

    From April 15 to May 14, 2010, the education team deployed allover the Ituri landscape to organize meetings with local committees for natural resource monitoring, conferences in secondary schools and seminar with district officials.

    GIC Assistant Director Marcel Enckoto traveled with ICCN Community Conservation Officer Abedi SELEMANI to Wamba. They screened and trained Mahaa, Malamba and Bafwakoy community representatives, before providing their leaders with new motorbikes.

    Then, Mr. Marcel proceeded to Isiro together with the Wamba-based education team. They organized conferences in 17 secondary schools with an attendance of 1080 students and a seminar with 123 district officials and local institution representatives, in the parish hall

    In the meantime, the Niania-based education team distributed OWR 2010 calendars in all offices and shops from Niania to Bafwasende, before sitting for conferences in 4 local secondary schools.

    This huge sensitization campaign focused on the importance of local committees to help the community leaders monitor the utilization of their natural resources and report to ICCN, the initiation of local community development actions, the importance of the Ituri landscape as well as the world heritage status of the Okapi Wildlife Reserve.

    As most conferences and the seminar were powepoint-illustrated on LCD Projector, the public was fascinated by the biodiversity on one hand, but sorrowful for the upgrading illegal activities, including slash and burn agriculture, bush meat trade, poaching, mining, timber logging and immigration on the other hand.

    All local radio stations, including Mambasa, Wamba and Isiro were mobilized for the event.

    Scheduled education trips will be completed before end of June. The Mambasa team will work jointly with WCS Forestry for conferences, the Niania team will assess the impact of incoming mining companies in the area, the Epulu team will assess immigration on the Banana-Bafwakoa sector and Marcel will move again with Selemani to Mungbere to struggle for the organization of local committees in the 2 Watsa Territory communities.

    Okapi Conservation Project Assistant Director