Ilka Herbringer, Ph.D.
Organization: Wild Chimpanzee Foundation
Location: Ivory Coast
Research: Club P.A.N.
Abstract: In addition to short-term projects aimed at reducing the impact of bush meat hunting on local wildlife populations, it is important to consider long-term programs to protect endangered wildlife. In this respect, public outreach and awareness programs can play a vital role in changing local attitudes towards the intrinsic value of wildlife. The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF) has been involved in chimpanzee and other wildlife conservation through awareness raising campaigns targeting adults, whereas long-term education programs oriented towards the next generation have only rarely been employed thus far. Therefore we aim to establish a nature club 'Club P.A.N.' using the existing WCF infrastructure, with the aim of increasing forest awareness among the local children of the area through monthly conservation education sessions in villages around the Taï National Park. Projects of this type have already proved very successful as is the case of 'Club Ebobo', a nature club with the same aim that has been operating for 4 years in northern Congo.