CERCOPAN’s Rhoko Forest site attracts a variety of visitors both national and international. Backpackers and expatriate workers regularly visit our Rhoko site for weekends as part of our eco-tourism programme, while non- resident international tourists stay up to 3 months either for a holiday with a difference or as short term volunteers/interns gaining experience for their desired career. We also host a range of researchers studying everything from trees and primates to hunting and forest product collection, and long term experienced volunteers who assist with the management of our project.
Our visitors may come to us for different reasons, but they all have one thing in common, they are actively helping CERCOPAN and Iko Esai to conserve Rhoko forest and the wealth of biodiversity it contains. Researchers provide much needed information to guide protected area management. Long term volunteers bring the skills and experience needed to build the capacity of our local staff and run our conservation programmes in the most cost effective manner possible. Everyone who visits brings much needed revenue to a community actively trying to find livelihood alternatives to destructive forest practices by relying on goods and services we have sourced in the village, or by purchasing them directly. Two-thirds of the entrance fee of all paying visitors also goes directly to the community to help replace the royalties once earned from logging and to fund development projects such as sinking bore holes for clean water, repairing bridges and undertaking renovations to the schools. Any other profit from visitor fees is used by CERCOPAN to maintain our facilities and progress our conservation initiatives.
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