HomeH.E.L.P. Project > Part "Primates Habitat"

Our 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
Bungalows in the sanctuary in 1998ø Objective
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.
The same bungalows, but surrounded by trees in 2003ø Evolution and state of the plantation in 2005
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 seedlings.
      - 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 of savanna.
      - 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...

ø 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 and formation
ø Context
At the 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.
But to 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
Congolese student using a microscope
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.
ø 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.
ø Future
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 ?
More information: contact us

© H.E.L.P. International - 2006 // last update 22/02/2007