The long-term preservation and protection of Badingilo can only be achieved through the active participation and engagement with local communities and authorities. Proximity to Juba and Bor adds to the density of people living around the park. The communities are concentrated on its western and southern boundaries with thousands of people from various ethnic groups, including the Murle, Mundari, and Bari amongst others.
The overarching objective is to implement a strong community engagement programme to create a firm foundation on which the relationship between the local communities and park management can thrive. This will ensure that local communities benefit from and support the protection of this vast wilderness area.
Community mapping surveys are being carried along the borders and within Badingilo, where contact is made with traditional leaders and other important figures in each village. Initial meetings have been held with community leaders throughout the region to introduce African Parks and discuss its mission in the landscape, as well as understand and address the needs and concerns of community members. In this way, awareness is being created and knowledge fostered among community members about wildlife conservation and its benefits.
Environmental education will be emphasised through community and school visits to the park and the creation of wildlife clubs in schools. This will ultimately facilitate environmental awareness amongst children which will not only secure the future of the park but create one where both people and wildlife can thrive.
African Parks aims to initiate sustainable pastoral programmes and promote training to boost skills development with a view to encouraging conservation-led economic development. Income-generating projects are also being explored to provide an alternative to park resource dependence.
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