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Biotope - COHAB Fouta

Developing models for conserving chimpanzees in the production landscapes of the Fouta Djallon (Guinea)

The Fouta Djallon highlands in Guinea, is a stunning mountainous region that is home to the largest population of chimpanzees in all of West Africa. Not only is this area important for chimpanzees, but it is also known as the "watershed of West Africa," as it is the source of some of the most important rivers in the region including the Niger River, Senegal River, the Gambia River. The Foulani people living in this region have cohabited with the chimpanzees for centuries. Chimpanzees here are generally not hunted or eaten and they live side by side with the people (Ham 1998).

Biotope (, a French Consultancy which is working in Guinea close to the Min of Env. since 2016, is now partnering with Guinée Ecologie, Jane Goodall Institute spain and Inspire Strategy & Decision on the COHAB Fouta Project that works at multiple levels to protect the chimpanzees of this unique region. This project is funded by a American foundation: ARCUS.

Guinee Ecologie is a national NGO Guinee Ecologie founded by Mamadou Saliou Diallo, which has been working on biodiversity conservation in Guinea since 1987 ( JGI Spain is a Spanish NGO working on chimps conservation and biomonitoring at the Senegalese border since a few year ( Inspire Strategy & Decision is a swiss consultancy that brings  real life issues to the universe of gaming, as a way to explore alternative realities and transform strategies/decision making in the real world.  (

Their project encompasses a wide range of activities that aim to:


1. Maintain chimpanzee populations at pilot sites across the Fouta Djallon, selected to cover contrasting proportions of remaining forest and human population densities;

2. Reinforce and enhance the co-existence of communities and chimpanzees in the villages at pilot sites in the Fouta Djallon;

3. Conserve and expand forests at pilot sites across the Fouta Djallon which benefit communities and chimpanzees;

4. Communicate and disseminate lessons learnt and support uptake of solutions across the Fouta Djallon, beyond the initial pilot sites;

5. Design and implement a cost-effective and robust monitoring system based on chimpanzee occurrences documented by villagers to obtain and regularly update the conservation status of the species across the Fouta.

The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation

Creation of the new Moyen Bafing National Park

The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF) works in Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire to enhance the survival of the remaining wild chimpanzee populations and their habitat. They concentrate their activities in regions where wild chimpanzees are still abundant.

In Guinea, the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation has worked closely with the Guinean Government, the International Finance Corporation, the Companie des Bauxite de Guinee and the Global Aluminum corporation to create the new 6,426 km² Moyen Bafing National Park (MBNP) to protect the 5,000 chimpanzees living there. This is now the largest park protecting chimpanzees in all of West Africa. It protects 12% of the world's wild chimpanzees.

In Guinea, WCF's activities focus on:

-Working with the communities within the MBNP, during and after its creation. For more information click here.

-Developing a strategy for the law enforcement of the MBNP with the “Office Guinéen de Parcs et Réserves” (OGUIPAR).

-Monitoring of the chimpanzee population within the MPNP.

-A floristic inventory and ornithological monitoring within the MBNP

-Reforestation and forest regeneration process

-Environmental education through their Club P.A.N project

For WCF's 2018 annual report click here

Please see the WCF website here

Please see the Moyen Bafing Chimpanzee Offset Feasibility Assessment here

The Jane Goodall Institute

A community-based approach to conservation

The Jane Goodall Institute team has been working in the Lebekere subprefecture, in the prefecture of Mali in Guinea to protect chimpanzees. Their work includes:


-Research programmes where research assistants conduct ecological monitoring of the chimpanzee communities living in these forests and have created a database on their status and distribution.


-Environmental education programmes


-Reforestation and food security projects to fight poverty and to mitigate conflicts between humans and chimpanzees for natural resources.


Their community-based approach will facilitate the possible future creation of a nature reserve in this area, that will be part of a transboundary protected area that would include the Dindefelo Community Nature Reserve in Senegal.


The JGI is also collaborating with Biotope and Guinée Écologie in the design and support of the biomonitoring program of resident chimpanzees in the Labé and Dalaba areas to develop models for conserving chimpanzees in the Fouta Djallon.

JGI also studies other primates in these forests, such as the white-and-black colobus (Colobus polykomos). 


Please see JGI’s web page for further information here

Photograph by Catherine  Andre

Chimpanzee Conservation Center

Providing a sanctuary for orphans of the pet trade

The Chimpanzee Conservation Center (CCC) is a sanctuary located in the heart of the Haut Niger National Park that has been providing home to orphan chimpanzee from the pet trade since 1997. The mission of the CCC is to welcome orphan chimpanzees confiscated as part of the fight against illegal or on-demand trafficking. authorities. These orphans are provided with the best possible living conditions, and if possible, they are returned to the wild (following the guidelines of the IUCN). The CCC plays a critical role in the conservation of wild chimpanzees by providing a home for these orphans so that authorities can enforce the law. CCC also contributes directly to the conservation of about 500 wild chimpanzees living in the Upper Niger National Park by supporting the Park's protection efforts, scientific research through data collection, through conservation education programs in the local communities and by supporting local community development to minimize anthropogenic pressures on the park's natural resources.

For more information click here.

Fauna and Flora International

Supporting effective management of Ziama Man and Biosphere Reserve

In Guinea, FFI has been working in the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) Ziama Massif forest since 2009 as part of a transboundary project with Liberia. These forests are home to the last remaining population of forest elephants in Guinea, and are therefore a priority site for forest elephant conservation as well as chimpanzee conservation in West Africa.

The greatest threat to the Ziama Massif ecosystem is fragmentation through unsustainable use of the forest wetlands by subsistence farmers. FFI therefore works in collaboration with the local community and partner organizations to ensure that Ziama can be managed as an intact and effective MAB reserve, supporting viable populations of key species while remaining co-managed and equitably beneficial to the local population who rely upon it for subsistence.

FFI provides direct support to the government wildlife authority, the Centre Forestier de N’Zérékoré (CFZ) by assisting CFZ in training and equipping forest rangers to carry out law enforcement and biomonitoring patrols that record activity and prevent poaching of the forest elephants. FFI is also working with CFZ and other partners to develop a MAB management plan for the Ziama Massif. This requires identifying core, buffer and transition zones.

or more information click here

Connecting the chimpanzees of Bossou to those of Mount Nimba

The Green Corridor Project

Next to the village of Bossou in the south of Guinea, lies a sacred mountain called Mount Gban. There are many legends about the chimpanzees who live on this mountain. Some say that the chimpanzees have kept peace in this village ever since they gave power to one of Bossou's warriors and allowed him to defeat his enemy. Others say that the chimpanzees hold the soul of the ancestors of the people of the village. Because of these legends, the people of Bossou have protected these chimpanzees for over a century.

In 1976 Bossou was established as a long-term field site for the study of chimpanzees by Dr. Sugiyama from the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute (KUPRI), Japan. The research program was directed by Dr. Sugiyama from 1976 - 1986, and then by Dr. Matsuzawa from 1986 until present. The research has been carried out in a close cooperation with the Direction Nationale de la Recherch Scientifique (DNRST) and the (Institut de Recherche Environnementale de Bossou (IREB).


Please click here for more information

Women's literacy and Girl's Education

In Guinea, only 12% of women over the age of fifteen are literate. Mamadou Saliou Diallo founded a national conservation NGO in Guinea, called Guinée Écologie 25 years ago. He and his colleague Mamadou Diawara and their team have been working in several villages in the Fouta Djallon to create community conservation initiatives to empower the people to continue to protect the chimpanzees. Guinee Ecologie has been working to build a school and launch a program for women's literacy and girls’ education in Pellel Koura village, which is close to the Saala forest complex (click here for more information).

A gofundme site was set up to raise funds for Guinée Écologie to help complete the construction of the school, pay the salaries of teachers, purchase teaching materials and supplies for students, construct separate girl’s toilets and to construct a well adjacent to the school. Thank you to all the very many who contributed to this amazing project of Guinee Ecologie.


Thank you so very much to the 2018/2019 5/6th grade class of Andrea Anion's ÉCOLE PORT ELGIN SAUGEEN CENTRAL SCHOOL who raised $1,230 for the school! Thank you also to the Primate Action Fund who kindly contributed to the construction of the school at this site as part of this ongoing project with chimpanzees. Thank you also to Jessie who held a fundraiser at Brushtrokes studio to raise funds to build separate girls and boys toilets.


Protection of the Saala Forest Complex

With funding from the Primate Action Fund, the Margot Marsh Foundation and the Arcus Foundation,  Guinée Écologie has been working to increase the protected area status of the Saala ecosystem, to ensure the effective management of this area for conservation of chimpanzees and their habitat.

For more information click here

WARA Conservation Project

The WARA Conservation Project in Guinea is working to fight wildlife crime by strengthening law enforcement. They aim to identify, arrest and prosecute traffickers of protected species. GALF is part of the WARA Conservation Project, and aims to protect apes and other endangered species in the Republic of Guinea from illegal hunting and wildlife trafficking.

Since its creation, the project has allowed the arrest and conviction of more than 100 traffickers in Guinea.


The GALF project works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Water and Forests (MEEF), the Ministry of State for Justice, the Ministry of Security (INTERPOL) and other government agencies to strengthen the enforcement of wildlife law in the Republic of Guinea.


The objectives of the project are:


to identify on a large scale all traffickers of live great apes, ivory, feline skins, birds, shark fins and other illegal wildlife products and to produce blatant evidence in the event of a trial;

facilitate the arrest of wildlife offenders;

facilitate the prosecution and ensure the enforcement of the decisions rendered;

to draw the public's attention to the effective application of the wildlife law and the risks incur

For more information click here

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