The name of this program – “The Ngouroumoutou Project” was inspired by its initial focus on the Giant Pangolin (Smutsia gigantea) which is known as “ngouroumoutou” in the Gbaya local language of the Mbam Djerem National Park area.
With very exciting but disturbing research results obtained by ABOYERD’s research team leader during an ecological survey of giant pangolins between 2017 and 2018, ABOYERD saw the urgent need to intervene through some conservation groundwork tailored based on evidence gathered from the field, hence the program “The Ngouroumoutou Project”.
This program which has pulled the attention of several conservation professionals, both local and international had as initial objective to support the conservation of the globally threatened giant pangolin, its habitats and associated wildlife species in and around the MDNP, while improving the livelihoods of indigenous communities around the park. However, over time, we have realized the need to extend our focus to the two other species of pangolins that share this habitat – the White-bellied pangolin and the Black-bellied pangolin as well as a host of other globally threatened species at the brink of local extinction.
This program comprises specific activities including but not limited to the following:
- Ecological/socio-economic surveys and bio-monitoring
- Restoration of degraded wildlife habitats
- Development of alternative livelihoods including but not limited to capacity building in mushroom production, beekeeping, cassava production, transformation and marketing, and NTFPs value chain development
- Running radio programs involving rebroadcasts of short radio plays, debates, and call-ins aimed at promoting environmentally responsible behavior.
- Creation of pangolin clubs known as 237 Green Schools to increase knowledge of environmental issues and to promote awareness and concerns for nature conservation in these future stewards of the forests.
- Regular training of law enforcement officials, delegates, legislators, and magistrates on recent laws protecting pangolins (and other trafficked species) and procedures for prosecuting defaulters