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Community Outreach2018-10-07T13:00:47+00:00

WE WANT TO WORK IN COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OVER THEIR ENVIRONMENT AND TAKE PRIDE IN RWANDA’S WILDLIFE.

We aim to slowly change attitudes and behaviours towards wildlife and their habitat.

RWCA Community Outreach

We work closely with local communities around key crane habitats to make sure we genuinely understand the challenges they face. With high levels of poverty and competition for land, it is not surprising that many people take crane eggs to eat, are tempted to poach to get money for their family or use the marshland for grazing their cows or washing clothes.

RWCA Community Outreach

Our outreach programmes focus on raising awareness, increasing law enforcement and providing opportunities for alternative sources of income as a deterrent from poaching.

 

COMMUNITY CONSERVATION CAMPAIGNS

Our community campaigns aim to increase knowledge about the need for conservation of Grey Crowned Cranes, the protection of habitat and to slowly change some of the traditional beliefs and practices that impact the crane population. The campaigns are strategically organised to take place in busy places, such as near the market on market days and target a range of people. Entertainment via big speakers is provided, with music, a stage and dancers which quickly attract attention and a large crowd – we have between 300 and 1000 people attending one event. We then deliver our key conservation messages and intersperse the messages with quizzes and competitions with prizes to keep people’s attention and interest.

This year we plan to adapt our campaigns to communities living nearby important bat habitats.

CRANE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERS

A network of crane conservation volunteers are about to be recruited and trained in different areas of the country. They will conduct patrols around key wetland areas, report sightings of Grey Crowned Cranes and collaborate with land owners, farmers and community leaders to ensure the cranes are protected and key conservation messages are understood within communities.

COMMUNITY CONSERVATION AGREEMENTS

These agreements provide a negotiated benefit package for community members, who in return commit to conservation actions. We gave opportunities to individuals who were relying on poaching as a form of income. A group of 18 local people formed a co-operative and now act as Marsh Rangers around Rugezi marsh. They complete daily patrols of the marsh, educating people, reporting illegal activities and monitoring Grey Cranes. In return for their commitment to protecting the marsh and its wildlife, they benefit from income generating activities of bee-keeping and pig rearing.

This year we plan to adapt our campaigns to communities living nearby important bat habitats.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR ECO-TOURISM

In the near future, eco-tourism opportunities will mean that local communities can benefit from living near by crane habitats. With birding being one of the top priorities of Rwanda’s tourism industry, there are many opportunities and will encourage communities to work together to protect the natural environment.

LOCAL LEADERS WORKSHOPS

450+ LOCAL LEADERS TRAINED TO INCREASE LAW ENFORCEMENT AROUND KEY CRANE HABITATS

Training for all local leaders at the Sector, Cell and Village level bordering key crane areas, as well as local security and members of the police and army. This helps us to raise awareness of the endangered status of Grey Crowned Cranes, the threats they face, the existing laws and the role leaders can have in protecting cranes and their habitat.