History and Milestones
CERCOPAN was founded in 1995, by Canadian Zena Tooze, the name CERCOPAN was given to the organisation to reflect the species held at the rehabilitation centre (CERCO for both Cercopithecus and Cercocebus an PAN the Greek word for all). In 2003, the organisation changed its name to ‘Centre for Education, Research, and Conservation of Primates and Nature’ (retaining CERCOPAN as an acronym) to more accurately reflect its activities and focus.
1995 – CERCOPAN founded – Headquarter established in Calabar
1997 – 1st Education Rally held in Calabar prompts the start of the renowned CERCOPAN World Environment Day childrens carnival
1998 – Full time Education Officer employed
2000 – 1st Agreement signed between Iko Esai and CERCOPAN
2001 – Construction of Rhoko main camp completed
– Community Conservation and Development Committee (CCDC) formed
– Joined Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA)
2002 – 1st Forest Patrol staff employed at Rhoko
2003 – Land Use plan for Iko Esai completed – 1st monkeys moved to Rhoko
2004 – Community Liaison employed in Iko Esai
2006 – MOU signed with Cross River National Park – The University of Calabar provides CERCOPAN with land for Rainforest Research Institute and approves a partnership for future capacity building – CERCOPAN becomes a registered charity
2007 – CERCOPAN conducts 1st primate reintroduction in West Africa that strictly follows IUCN reintroduction guidelines.
2008 – CERCOPAN plays major role assisting the government in organising International Environmental Summit and subsequent Biodiversity Action plan.
2009 – Community work expanded to include Agoi Ibami, Iko Ekperem, and Owai – 1st fully democratic election of the CCDC in Iko Esai
2010 – 1st successful captive breeding of the Sclaters guenon – MOU signed with Cross River State Forestry Department
2011- Completed Iko Esai Community Centre, renewed lease with Iko Esi community, constructed new deluxe accomodation at Rhoko,completed first complete operations manual
2012- Completed construction of CERCOPAN office in Owai