Linking traditional values and conservation of threatened habitats and species

March 14, 2014 by Pamela Wairagala

A new video made by a team of Ugandan conservationists hopes to illustrate the link between traditional values and conservation of some of the world's threatened habitats and species

Fauna & Flora International's team in Uganda have created a short video to help raise awareness of the links between the cultural values of communities, and conservation of the areas in which they live.

Human activity including snaring, a general lack of awareness among the about chimp conservation and shrinking habitats resulting in increased incidents of human-wildlife conflict are contributing to a decline in the population of the eastern chimpanzee in the Rwenzori Mountains.

According to a 2010 chimpanzee survey conducted by the Park Management, an estimated population of only 450-500 of the eastern chimpanzee Pan troglodytes is believed to still exist here.

The short video was shot in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, home to the Banyarwenzururu, people of the snow, who believe that their gods reside in the snow capped mountains. Therefore, the mountains are considered sacred.

As part of Fauna & Flora International's Culture, Values and Conservation Programme, support from local communities has been enlisted, based on their cultural attachment to the Park and its resources.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Fred Kiiza, Senior Warden in Charge of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, says that this approach is instrumental in reducing threats to the chimpanzees. "The Bathangi, a clan among the Banyarwenzuru people, consider themselves kinsmen to the chimpanzees, and have spearheaded an awareness campaign among the local community members to promote chimpanzee based on their cultural beliefs and practices."

The Culture, Values and Conservation Programme has facilitated engagement between the management of National Park and the local people, who can now access their sacred sites inside the park.

Located in South Western Uganda, Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a World Heritage Site internationally known for among others being home to chimpanzees.

Human activity has however in the recent past, increasingly threatened the lives of the animals which are mainly hunted for their purported medicinal value, food and also in retaliation for raiding crop gardens.

Explore further: In a last 'stronghold' for endangered chimpanzees, survey finds drastic decline

Related Stories

African nations commit to saving chimps

June 21, 2010

The nations of East and Central Africa have developed a 10-year action plan to save one of humankind's closest relatives—the eastern chimpanzee—from hunting, habitat loss, disease, and other threats, according to an announcement ...

Myanmar critical for hoolock gibbon conservation

December 18, 2013

A comprehensive conservation status review of hoolock gibbons in Myanmar has been published by Fauna & Fauna International (FFI), People Resources and Conservation Foundation (PRCF) and Biodiversity and Nature Conservation ...

New large population of chimpanzees discovered

February 6, 2014

( —With great ape populations in fast decline, it is crucial to obtain a global picture of their distribution and abundance, in order to channel and direct conservation activities to where they are most needed. ...

Recommended for you

A better way to read the genome

October 9, 2015

UConn researchers have sequenced the RNA of the most complicated gene known in nature, using a hand-held sequencer no bigger than a cell phone.

Threat posed by 'pollen thief' bees uncovered

October 9, 2015

A new University of Stirling study has uncovered the secrets of 'pollen thief' bees - which take pollen from flowers but fail to act as effective pollinators - and the threat they pose to certain plant species.

Mapping the protein universe

October 9, 2015

To understand how life works, figure out the proteins first. DNA is the architect of life, but proteins are the workhorses. After proteins are built using DNA blueprints, they are constantly at work breaking down and building ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.