Community Development

The people living in the vicinity of Chinko have suffered for decades from civil war and ethnic violence. Chinko, in partnership with the government, has the opportunity to foster stability in the region while working with the surrounding communities, to promote regional development based on a better understanding of the value of wildlife.

Community Engagement

To protect biodiversity, African Parks proposed a land use planning strategy, together with communities and the CAR government © Marcus Westberg

Community committee meetings are held annually, and regional meetings with herders, local authorities and communities are convened by the team in all major transhumance locations. More agreements are being signed with communities on the periphery of Chinko which support the proposed Land Use Plan, including the creation of Chinko National Park. Local Development Consultation Groups have been created; these are village-based structures that stimulate local development and serve as an anchor for land use planning.

Education and Environmental Awareness

One of African Parks’ key goals is to provide quality educational opportunities that support economic and social transformation while raising awareness of conservation and environmental issues. These campaigns have been well received, attracting the support of local authorities.

Environmental education is emphasised in local schools, with resources provided to pupils and teachers, and environmental education clubs being set up. The Community Development team drafted an environmental education guide, “Mon Chinko,” on nature conservation, which has been distributed to and used in some 30 primary schools.

Sustainable Enterprise Development

Chinko supports 60 Village Saving and Loan Associations to develop inclusive finance and foster income-generation activities © Irene Galera

Economic development projects for Chinko’s surrounding communities constitute the cornerstone of our work. The people of CAR are in desperate need of a sustainable form of income to improve their quality of life.

Chinko supports sustainable agriculture in the surrounding communities to promote sustainable livelihoods. Regular training has taken place to aid this, with farming groups receiving training in sustainable practices for cassava, groundnut and maize farming, as well as market gardening techniques and sustainable fish farming, with Chinko providing financial support to cover the setting up and running costs. Four community fishery reserves were established along the major rivers of eastern CAR to increase local yield. Artisanal miners have received training in responsible mining practices as well.

Since 2020, Chinko has supported 60 Village Saving and Loan Associations with training in financial management, micro-credit management and association management. These enable communities to save money which they can then re-invest in new projects, additional income-generating activities or education.