> H.E.L.P. Project
actions in favor of the primates habitat
Protecting the primates without protecting their
habitat is not possible. The african tropical
forests heltered several monkey species, humanoïde or not. Protect
those forest requires to act t three important levels
: protection of what already exists, durable management of the forest
ressources, reconstitution of the degraded forest spaces.
Because of its presence on the ground, H.E.L.P.
Congo particapte at the protection of a major in the Republic
of Congo : the National
Park of Conkouati-Douli. But the more concrete actions in favor of the forest
led by the H.E.L.P.
Project are :
-a contribution to
the reconstitution of forest spaces throughout the development of a pilot
plantation on the site of the Sanctuary in Conkouati
- a contribution
to the development of knowledge about the natural habitat of the primate,
to improve tools dedicated to management and skill, in priority in Congo, using
scientific research and education.
The plantation of H.E.L.P. Congo
At the beginning, the purpose of the first plantations carried out on
the site of the Sanctuary was to help with the supply fruits for the chimpanzees
and with the improvement of the living conditions on the site, located in full
savanna, without shade thus very hot.
But very quickly Mrs. Jamart saw through this plantation a means to help with
the protection of the forests. These last are destroyed for the wood
necessary for energy, construction and the arable lands. If we can show the
local populations that by planting in a reasonable way, we constitute for ourselves
an quasi-unlimited source of wood of heating, materials and supports for the
cultures, a great step will be made. In addition, these plantations, by including
fruit trees, can become a new source of income for the villagers. Lastly, the
plantation of forest corridors between the various small forest islands
scattered in the savanna is a means to make more viable such locations
for all species of primates.
Evolution and state of the plantation in
At the creation in 1991 of the Sanctuary, was planted near the buildings,
some fruit trees and palm trees, some acacias and eucalypti. This made it possible
to create a first park.
· In 2002, another large
wave of plantation took place, on a site being next to this first park, on a
surface of almost 4 hectares. It was planted there nearly 1000 feet: acacias,
citrus fruits, safoutiers, avocado trees, mango trees, fig trees, palm trees,
coconuts, corosoliers, papaw tree, banana trees... But despite all the precautions
taken, nearly a third of the seedlings were destroyed in 2003 by the dryness
and the fires.
Following that, the cutting-fire one were enlarged and the techniques to amend
the ground starting from biological compost and other manures and to protect
the young seedlings were improved. The plantations began again of more beautiful.
· Today, the plantation is made
of four parts :
- the first planted in 2002, completely
refilled: all the lines of fruit-lofts are cleared of undergrowth and each foot
has a dry grass litter to protect it from the dryness. This part starts to be
supplemented by marrow plantations, water melons, corn...
- the second part was born in 2004, with
a surface equal to the first part; it is made up mainly of palm trees, acacias,
of mango trees, padamiers, citrus fruits... it counts approximately a thousand
- the third part is a band of approximately
50 m of broad all along the forest gallery and mangrove which skirts the lagoon
of Conkouati. It is made up of forest: Diospyros mannii, Parkia bicolor,
Irvingia gabonensis, Trichoscypha sp., Hexalobus sp...
it counts from 500 to 700 seedlings and protects the forest gallery from fires
- the fourth part located along the lagoon
in a part where eucalypti had been planted there ten years ago. On this
zone, was planted 250 additional seedlings, mango trees, two-tone
parkias, padamiers, Irvingia gabonensis...
In the futur
It will be given an accent even more extremely to the
plantation of forest trees, but also to the association vegetables - trees.
This plantation should be used as a support to sensitize the local populations
with the interest of the agro-forestries. The existing seedbed
should be reinforced to be able to provide seedlings to the concerned villagers.
Scientific research on the habitat of the primates
current rate of deforestation, 90% of the habitat of the great monkeys
will have disappeared in Africa in 2030. It is thus necessary to act and
preserve the tropical forest. That requires adapted measurements.
manage and protect as well as possible, we cruelly miss reliable information : What is the richness of the tropical forest? How does the tropical
forest takes part in the regulation of the climate? Which are the impacts of
the human activities? How the local populations live from the forest?
To answer these
questions, there is a tool: the search on the ground ! This research must be use to understand and propose solutions! But the majority of the
countries of central Africa miss means and competences in the fields of research
and conservation! H.E.L.P. Project acts on this level.
ø Our progam
We use here our assets (sites on the ground rich in potentially model
natural environments of study, important network of scientific
partners...) to develop a supplementary program to the development of
knowledge on the ecosystems - habitats of the primates. This program is:
- To understand :
by the development of studies targeted on pilot ecosystems, studies of inventory
(fauna & flora), follow-ups, cartography, or sociological.
- To propose : thanks to the data collected, it will be proposed
to the Congolese actors relevant measures of conservation, environmental
management, or durable development.
- To help :
Congolese must be the project superintendents of the management of their natural
resources; but the H.E.L.P. Project will be able to assist them in their decisions
by sensitizing, the formation (researchers, managers, local populations) or the
impact study of the carried out actions.
Our first results
Since 2002, several scientific expeditions were developed within the
framework of this program, dealing about the forest cover of the zone
of Conkouati, the aquatic environments or the birds. These missions made it
possible to define bases of more important studies for the future.
They also made it possible to three European students (two Frenchwomen and Czech)
to undertake an essential study in obtaining their university diploma.
In 2006 a Congolese student, registered in DESS in France, will undertake a
study on the nature and diversity of the forest settlements on the site of the
Triangle. This study is partly taken in charge by the H.E.L.P. Project
and is carried out in collaboration with the section forest of the Cirad.
This last study will give place to a thesis if the funds necessary are collected.
The H.E.L.P. Project will then have to bring approximately 10
000 euros/year over 3 years. This study is only one example among others of
the developed research orientations. The lack of funds is the principal brake
to this important program. We actively seek interested sponsors or givers. Why
not you ?