The Rowland Ward Foundation continues to support community involvement projects near hunting areas in the Congo, Tajikistan, and Cameroon. In 2023, we will be expanding this involvement to include Canada.
Rowland Ward’s mission is to support sustainable, fair-chase hunting that benefits local indigenous people and the conservation of wildlife and its habitat.
Hunters care about the conservation of animals, but they also care about people and leaving the world a better place. Our investment in the work of our sponsored programs continues as we choose platforms that will have a maximum positive impact through humanitarian support as well as anti-poaching efforts and education.
This program is focused on the Northern Congo rainforest and the village of Tala-Tala on the Ngoko River.
Giving back to communities is part of the amazing work that Congo Forest Safaris is doing. Based in the northern Congo near the village of Tala-Tala on the Ngoko River, this program donates school materials to the village’s primary school. These materials emphasize the importance of local wildlife and how wildlife helps pay for the school. In addition, financial support is given to the local health clinic of Tala-Tala. Finally, the program supports four local antipoaching agents by equipping them with motorcycles, clothing, and basic equipment. The pristine rain forest on the Ngoko River that this program targets not only holds iconic game animals such as bongo, sitatunga, and forest buffalo, but also chimpanzees, gorillas, and elephants, which are not hunted. This program is administered by Congo Forest Safaris.
(Pictured above) Congo Forest Safaris distributes humanitarian support to the Tala-Tala village in Congo.
(Pictured above) Anti-poaching efforts are an important part of the conservation work led by Congo Forest Safaris. This photo shows the results of just one anti-poaching operation where 2,000 snares were collected!
Tajikistan has a nationwide outreach program to involve local communities in conservation.
Association of Nature Conservation Organizations in Tajikistan (ANCOT) works throughout Tajikistan making local communities aware of the valuable wildlife resources they have in their vast mountain ranges in the form of argali, urial, ibex, and markhor. It advises twelve conservancies on developing infrastructure for tourism and hunting in each conservancy. Throughout the year it conducts surveys in selected conservancies, reports conservation results, and makes suggestions.
ANCOT firmly believes in, and focuses on, conservation through sustainable use and community-based wildlife management. This approach motivates locals to refrain from poaching to protect the wildlife populations while receiving benefits from their ecosystems. Also benefiting are several key species that are not hunted, including snow leopards and bearded vultures. This program got a positive writeup in the British newspaper The Guardian recently, which was very pleasing as this publication is not normally a friend of hunting.
Since 2008, ANCOT has supported the establishment of game management areas that can be protected by local families or associations of local hunters. The locals generate revenues from these areas through guided hiking, game-viewing, wildlife photography, and hunting. The revenues continue to fund the work of local rangers and nature guides, and any surpluses are invested into local development projects. This approach motivates families and hunters to refrain from unsustainable poaching and to protect the wildlife populations and their ecosystems.
ANCOT continues its work in educating community members, which helps the anti-poaching effort. Collaboration between the local people and those involved in wildlife management is essential!
ANCOT is also helping local community rangers develop skills for wildlife monitoring. Using camera traps is an effective way not only to identify the presence of rare species, but also to reduce poaching. Community rangers quickly learn how to use camera traps and where to place them, and it’s been exciting for them to monitor wildlife across the conservancies and nature parks they manage.
Another important ANCOT program is the conservation of snow leopards. The presence of snow leopards indicates a healthy population of ungulates, which benefits environmental tourism and improves the natural heritage of the local communities. For these reasons, the local communities actively support the protection and monitoring of snow leopards.
This program focuses on northeastern Cameroon around Bouba Ndjida National Park, and is administered by Mayo Olidiri Safaris.
Every year a number of Spanish doctors come over to volunteer their services during the dry season. They perform surgeries, gynecology, and traumatology, among other things.
Presentations in the schools, in the local language, are given to teach the children about the different animals in the area. This has been successful, and the heads of local schools often ask to organize excursions with the children to the hunting camps.
With the help of Paul Bour, director of Bouba Ndjida National Park, and cooperating local village chiefs, outreach programs are conducted to inform the population about the damage caused by poachers and to ask for their collaboration in anti-poaching efforts. This has created much-needed awareness in the surrounding villages and schools.
The anti-poaching team is continuing its tiring, grueling work. It takes a dedicated team to locate, recognize, and safely neutralize snares and other traps used by poachers while working in an area that is home to dangerous game.
Although there are many different types of poachers, the reality of it can be deeply saddening as the anti-poaching team comes across many carcasses that are hard to look at. Poachers will shoot anything that moves, and there is no respect or differentiation in the types of animals that are targeted.
(Pictured above) Snares and traps are widely used by poachers. All of these traps were collected in just a couple of months.
Mayo Oldiri Safaris and the Mayo Rey Foundation continues their work educating and making locals aware of the negative effects of the horrendous bush meat trade and the positive effects of anti-poaching efforts. The Foundation also donates to privately employed antipoaching units that are equipped with cars, radios, and other equipment to locate poaching activity and to alert eco-guards and/or the local rapid response force (called BIR) to confront poachers. (Private antipoaching personnel may not carry firearms.)
This program in British Columbia, Canada, is a multi-year indigenous youth apprenticeship program.
Driftwood Valley Outfitters runs the Driftwood Outdoor Guide and Business Apprenticeship (DOGBA), which is a multi-year Indigenous youth program serving the indigenous Takla First Nation communities with a goal to build capacity in the guiding business. The traditional territory of this First Nation is in northcentral British Columbia. The mission of the program is to follow a project-based learning platform to teach students the practical and business skills of the guiding industry, and to provide the requirements for the completion of grade 12 education. The educational structure is supported by three pillars: Indigenous knowledge, skills training, and their application in outdoor guiding and business. The three-year apprenticeship program for Takla First Nation youths began in 2021 and has completed its first year of operation.
The Driftwood Outdoor Guide and Business Apprenticeship program seeks to secure a strong future for wilderness and guiding tourism as well as Indigenous tourism in northern British Columbia. The program accomplishes this through diversifying and expanding wilderness and guiding tourism by incorporating Indigenous knowledge and experiences. The program further aims to train at-risk youth in the skills required to succeed in the wilderness and guiding tourism sector and other sectors with overlapping skill sets.
In the past year, the program has provided training and skill building with certification opportunities for the apprentices. Since the program began, several courses have been provided, including: Hunting Guide Certification; First Aid Level 1, 2, and 3; Transportation and Wilderness First Aid; Food Safety; Pleasure Craft Operator (Boater License); Trapper Education; Firearms Possession and Acquisition License (PAL); and Conservation and Outdoor Recreation (CORE) Program.
The courses offered, especially the Hunting Guide Certification and the CORE Program, are critical to the apprentices becoming successful guide-outfitters. Hunting Guide Certification is required for a guide-outfitter to be licensed to guide resident and non-resident hunters in exclusive and legally defined guide areas. The CORE Program focuses on hunter safety and wilderness conservation, with topics that cover conservation, ethics, laws and regulations, survival, animal identification, and more.
The program is grounded in Indigenous knowledge and project-based learning. This includes the requirements for grade 12 education, which is met through a variety of practical lessons like fixing equipment (Power Technology and Automotive Technology); magazine article writing (Composition and Creative Writing); flyfishing (Environmental Science and Art); log cabin building (Math and Woodworking); and more.
(Pictured above) Students develop skills in woodworking and log cabin building. Here they are learning to handmill timber.
(Pictured above) Trail clearing is part of the apprenticeship program.
You have the ability to potentially impact the work being done with your donations to Rowland Ward. We would like to invite you to donate to the Rowland Ward Foundation. Your financial help provides continued support in the programs listed above.
The entire board of the RW Foundation, including the director, are volunteers and work without getting paid for their labors.
Rowland Ward is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Your donations are tax-deductive to the extent allowed by law.
Thank you in advance for your contribution.