History and Milestones

Rhoko Forest tree CERCOPAN

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.

Key milestones

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