The challenges facing Boma National Park are diverse. The park is threatened not only by direct conservation threats on species and habitat but also by high levels of poverty in both sedentary and nomadic communities, and insecurity including cross border infringement from Ethiopia. In addition, there is a constant risk of poorly planned large-scale agricultural and infrastructural projects being developed in the absence of holistic protected area management.
African Parks has identified several measures in which it is investing heavily in to counteract these threats. Key among them is establishing a well-trained and equipped law enforcement team to carry out monitoring, patrols and surveillance. In addition, needed infrastructure and communication systems will be established. Importantly, all law enforcement efforts will be coordinated through close collaboration with local communities and regional authorities.
African Parks will recruit and train rangers from local communities who will be deployed throughout Boma to ensure wildlife and its ecosystems are protected. New recruits will complete a basic field rangers course and current rangers will receive specialised training to protect the park in accordance of with African Parks standard operating procedures. Training will include the use of firearms, patrolling and tracking methods, navigation, data collection, communication, and first aid operations.
We will implement improved intelligence systems in Boma, and adapt the law enforcement operations from a reactive anti-poaching strategy to an active counter-poaching strategy which will disrupt and decrease illegal activity. In addition, a communications and technology network will be constructed throughout the park, and all information will be centralised 24 hours a day at the operations coordination centre. Through improved communication systems and information gathering, the intelligence system will enhance our efforts to protect the park.
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