Friday, May 21, 2010

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

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