Greetings from Noloholo! We have just returned from our fall tour in the United States and would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who welcomed and supported us. As always, it was a pleasure to see so many of you. It was a great honor to share and celebrate APW’s work with audiences at TEDx Jackson Hole, the WILD Festival with National Geographic, and the Lowell Thomas Awards. We also enjoyed meeting some of you at the Wildlife Conservation Expo in San Francisco. The overwhelmingly positive response we have received to our message of “finding the balance for communities and nature” has been very exciting and inspiring. We would also like to give a special thank you to board members Ann Smith and Virginia Dean and supporters Gerry and Imaging Spence, who hosted successful gatherings on our behalf in Jackson Hole and New York, respectively.
Here in Tanzania, it is wonderful to see all of our programs continually growing and strengthening, each making meaningful improvements in the lives of local community members and surrounding wildlife populations. A few notable highlights from recent months include:
Wildlife Conservation and Human-Wildlife Conflict Prevention
- A large carnivore survey is underway led by and in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society. The survey, which will be repeated in several years, will allow us to compare changes in the distribution and abundance of lions and other big cats in our focal areas and identify places that are important to their survival.
- A training refresher was conducted by our Wildlife Monitoring unit to assist the Community Scout team with their wildlife counts based on distance sampling. These skills will help the team to measure the impact of our programs on local wildlife populations.
- Living Wall installations are underway in three of our priority landscapes – the Maasai Steppe, the Burunge Wildlife Management Area, and the West Kilimanjaro-Amboseli ecosystem.
- Our Warriors for Wildlife team received and managed 87 reports of human-wildlife conflict from all of our focal areas. All incidents were recorded electronically via our Online Data Kit (ODK).
Natural Resource Management
- Meetings were held with the governments of five villages to introduce our new Community Rangeland Monitoring program, which is based on local demand for timely knowledge about the state of their rangelands. Each village is identifying and mapping their rangelands into seasonal grazing areas based on rainy and dry season conditions.
- An Online Data Kit (ODK) form was developed to assist two newly appointed rangeland monitors from each participating village. The monitors will be responsible for collecting and reporting data about their village’s critical pastures.
Sustainable Enterprise Development
- 38 women’s groups participating in our Women’s Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Initiative harvested 1,860 kilograms of crude honey, of which 1,082 kilograms was processed and made ready for sale. Important meetings have also been held with the women’s groups to evaluate progress and discuss feedback.
- The first community-owned campsite in the village of Loibor Siret has successfully begun operations. A committee chosen by the village government has opened a bank account and hosted the campsite’s first guest. The campsite will provide revenue to the community from tourism while helping to reinforce the value of species that can sometimes cause conflicts with humans, such as lions, elephants, and buffalo.
- 85 Wildlife Club members have been trained over the course of four environmental summer camps. The Wildlife Clubs have successfully engaged government leaders and community members to increase their awareness of the importance of locally-driven conservation.
- 150 Wildlife Club members enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Tarangire National Park.
- 16 youth environmental mentors have officially engaged with their respective Wildlife Clubs after receiving training at the Noloholo Environmental Center.
We are extremely grateful to all of our supporters and partners for helping to make this important work possible. In particular, we would like to extend a special thank you to USAID and the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative for their generous support.
Laly Lichtenfeld, Ph.D.
Director of Programs