Promoting chimpanzee conservation in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa

public.project.responsible_investigator_cria: Kimberley Hockings

public.project.research_group: Environment, Sustainability and Ethnography


Chimpanzee conservation | Guinea-Bissau | Workshop


Arcus Foundation










Although chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) were declared extinct in Guinea-Bissau in 1988, more recent reports estimate that between 600 and 1,000 individuals are currently present, with the largest population likely occupying the Cantanhez National Park. These heavily fragmented coastal forests were identified as one of seven priority areas in West Africa for urgent chimpanzee conservation efforts (Kormos et al. 2003: West African Chimpanzees. IUCN, Gland. 2003). However, there is no coherent strategy for chimpanzee conservation in Guinea-Bissau that identifies issues of regional/national concern. Furthermore, there is an apparent lack of information on the needs of local people who share landscapes and resources with the West African chimpanzee. Without considering human needs as an equal priority to ape conservation the long-term outcomes of any strategy will be limited. We propose to hold a participatory workshop in collaboration with key local and government stakeholders to achieve the following aims: 1) To increase awareness across all stakeholders present at the workshop of the endangered status of chimpanzees in Guinea-Bissau and to raise the national conservation profile of P.t.verus; 2) To identify the main conservation threats to chimpanzees in Guinea-Bissau, in particular in Cantanhez National Park (CNP), and use this information to develop of a strategy for chimpanzee conservation that takes into account the needs and opinions of local people; 3) To discuss potential strategies for communication of identified conservation threats to chimpanzees with the population (Bissau and CNP).