Site visit by Tusk Trust USA Executive Director
Tusk Trust has supported CERCOPAN’s forest conservation activities since 2009, providing an important steady funding source for our long-term conservation efforts. This month, Tusk Trust USA Executive Director Meredith Ogilvie-Thompson visited our project in Nigeria to witness first-hand the programmes implemented by CERCOPAN.
Over the course of eight days, Meredith was introduced to the various aspects of our conservation activities. In Calabar, she observed the monkeys in our rehabilitation programme, and enjoyed the enthusiasm of a visiting school group. She also met with some key persons for the implementation of our programmes, most notably Dr. Odigha Odigha, Chairman of the Cross River State (CRS) Forestry Commission; and Mr. Arikpo Arikpo, CRS Forestry Commission Board Member responsible for Community Forestry Programmes.
In Rhoko, Meredith experienced our forest and community conservation activities. She interviewed the patrol rangers, all ex-hunters from our partner communities who have given up hunting to protect the forest. She also spoke with the research assistants, who carry out CERCOPAN’s forest research programme; and with Obio, our acting camp manager, who explained about the logistics and challenges of running a remote forest camp. In Iko Esai, Meredith witnessed the Iko Esai tree nursery, visited the abattoir projects and met with our Community Conservation Manager Mike Ekpe. Meredith stated she was impressed with the projects and with the people she met, both CERCOPAN staff and community members of Iko Esai, who all conveyed their strong commitment to conservation of their natural resources.
We are very pleased to have received a representative from Tusk Trust and are are looking forward to strengthening our collaboration with them in the future.