At the intersection of central and east Africa, Kibale’s patchwork of rainforest, grassland, swamp and riverine habitats provides a home to many wildlife species, including some found at Taronga’s Zoos. Tragically, the balance that once existed between humans and this unique mix of fauna and flora has all but vanished. Small scale logging by an ever-growing population is a major threat to the park’s wildlife. The Kibale Fuel Wood Project helps safeguard biodiversity and improve people-park relations through empowering local citizens to reach greater energy efficiency. In 2014, the New Nature Foundation will continue adapting the successful methodologies to further promote people living in harmony with wildlife. Last year, with Taronga’s help, the New Nature Foundation planted trees for fuel and built energy efficient stoves, saving an average of 4,055 kg wood/day. This wood will now remain as forest, providing important habitat for the primates of the National Park.
Sustainable Uganda helps to conserve Kibale National Park (KNP) by addressing the needs of people living around its border in sustainable ways. The park is home to one of the densest populations of primates in Africa, including chimpanzees and at least 12 species of monkeys. With over 339 bird species, Kibale is also classified as an Important Bird Area. It hosts 229 species of trees and shrubs, 77 species of mammals, 75 species of reptiles and amphibians, and at least 12 fish species.
Small scale logging by an ever-growing local population has become a major threat. The New Nature Foundation hopes that the project will protect wildlife and improve people-park relations by empowering local citizens to find alternative, realistic solutions to their energy needs. It is the involvement and action of Ugandan citizens in this project that will make long-term conservation of KNP possible. Run by Ugandan staff, the project promotes building fuel-efficient stoves, planting native trees well suited for firewood, and has an extensive education campaign, which includes village museums, outdoor video shows and annual conservation competitions.
In 2014 alone, New Nature Foundation has doubled the number of fuel efficient stoves that were built in the previous year, with over 62% of families in the target areas now using the stoves. This is increasing the amount of wood saved from Kibale National Park dramatically. A 50% increase in production of eco-briquettes is also helping to save the forest. The village trading program has traded these alternate fuel source briquettes for 18,520 kilograms of agricultural waste, which will then be used to produce even more briquettes. With funds from Taronga, New Nature Foundation has also been able to maintain and update four sciences in areas bordering Kibale National Park. Attendance by adults and children is growing each year, with over 18,000 visitors in 2014.
New Nature Foundation is based in Uganda and staffed by Ugandans who are passionate about their environment. The New Nature Foundation strives to conserve wild animals and wild places through education, empowerment, and an emphasis on creative solutions that promote people living in harmony with nature.
What can you do?
Reduce your footprint: The demand for energy has impacts all over the world, not just in the communities next to wild areas and animals. To lighten your impact on the world’s resources, switch to green power and ride your bicycle or take public transport to work.