CERCOPAN conducts the only formal environmental education programme in Cross River State, Nigeria. We reach out to both youths and adults, striving continuously to motivate, inspire and build the capacity for positive, tangible and effective conservation action. The goal of our programme is to reduce the pressures on primates and nature by impacting the behaviors of people in rural and urban areas. We do this by instilling an understanding of the value of nature, primates and other wildlife, whilst improving understanding of Nigeria´s conservation laws.
Our environmental educational youth outreach currently covers 50 secondary schools, 20 primary schools, and 20 conservation clubs that we have founded, culminating each year in the World Environment Day festival that brings the centre of the city to a standstill. Ultimately, we aim to establish conservation education within the formal curriculum of all primary and secondary schools in Cross River State.
We train the next generation of environmental conservation leaders attending the two leading technical universities in the State through an annual course at our field site,which demonstrates a successful working community-based conservation model. We are currently the only such facility available for Nigerian Life Sciences students.
The captive primates in our care are also a huge visitor attraction (see e.g. Bradt Guide, Lonely Planet) providing a vital environmental conservation education possibility that we take full advantage of. We receive more than 20,000 visitors a year who come (for free) to see our work and hear our environmental conservation message.
We act as environmental conservation advisors to the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Environment in Cross River State.