By empowering the local population and providing well-organised and well-managed boots on the ground, Chinko has excellent potential to provide stability in an area that has seen decades of unrest and conflict.
Wildlife and human populations living in villages surrounding Chinko are under constant threat due to instability and ongoing fighting between armed groups and violent militias. Poaching pressure largely from armed Sudanese cattle herders, who up until now have occupied this vast area with their large herds of cattle, have put species like the Eastern giant eland, hartebeest, kob and buffalo at serious risk. Undeterred poaching caused wildlife numbers to plummet drastically over the last few years, to the brink of local extinction, prior to the creation of Chinko and the arrival of African Parks.
The recruitment and training of park rangers is the first step in establishing a law enforcement unit that can combat poaching on the ground. These rangers will patrol Chinko throughout the year by foot, while air surveillance will also be put in place to monitor the area.
As a result Chinko’s comprehensive community programme, extensive cooperation with Central African officials and a committed ranger team of 64 individuals have managed to secure a vast 10,000 km2 core protection zone. This has been achieved by pushing out armed poachers and cattle herders and mitigating key threats, with the result of the creation of a safe harbour for Chinko’s wildlife and increased stability for communities in the region.
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