SOS Final Technical Report

SOS Final Technical Report 1. Project Information Organization: Project Title: Grant code: SOS Grant Type: Report Author and Contact Information: Da...
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SOS Final Technical Report

1. Project Information

Organization: Project Title: Grant code: SOS Grant Type: Report Author and Contact Information: Date of Report: SOS Strategic Direction(s): Project Dates SOS Grant Amount (in US$): Total Project Amount (in US$): Focal Threatened Species: Implementation Partners for this project:

Leo Foundation Urgent Conservation Action to safeguard elephants and lions from poachers in Cameroon's Bouba-Ndjidda N.P. 2013B-005 Rapid Action Grant Ralph Buij, Leo Foundation Paul Bour, Mayo Rey Conservation July 2014 Rapid Action Grant 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014 25,000 28,000 Lions (Panthera leo) (VU) Elephants (Loxodonta africana) (VU) Mayo Rey Conservation (MRC) Association

2. Project Progress by Component/Objective 2A. Report on results by project component. Reporting should reference specific products/deliverables from the approved project design and other relevant information including quantitative and qualitative measurement of chosen indicators. Objective or Result Objective 1: Provide accommodation and electricity for anti-poaching guards and warden in Koum (centre of Bouba-Ndjida N.P.) R1.1 Twenty-two houses constructed for long-term housing of patrol units, furnished with fully-equipped beds for

Actual at Completion PARTLY ACHIEVED

PARTLY ACHIEVED - The quality of the houses built is much higher than what was originally planned (we used tin roofs, plaster, doors and windows) to get the same level of 1

50 guards.

accommodation undertaken by other projects. This caused a significant extra cost to be provided by MRC. For these reasons the construction of 22 houses has not been completed. At present (17-10-2014), 20 houses have been constructed and two more are planned. All equipment to furnish the houses (beds, mattresses, electricity) was acquired.

R1.2 Power supply for solar panel replaced and GPS track sticks purchased for communication between warden and patrols.

ACHIEVED - The solar inverter has been purchased and installed in the conservation offices. An office was installed and completely refurbished. The MRC association had obtained GPS through another grant and these have been put into operation during the implementation of this project.

Objective 2: Regular anti-poaching units equipped and active in BoubaNdjidda NP for 12 months. R2.1 Anti-poaching patrolling operational for 12 months with fuel supply for 5 vehicles and fully equipped guards with first-aid medicine kits and individual rations. Objective 3: Maintain open the road network within the National Park. R3.1 Anti-poaching patrolling enhanced by a maintained and fully open road network in the park (400 km). Objective 4: Train guards in the use of GPS and track stick devices for efficient patrols. R4.1 Fifty-five (55) or more ecoguards and twenty (20) village guards fully trained in GPS and track stick monitoring techniques.

ACHIEVED

ACHIEVED - Anti poaching patrols have been conducted and performed with the support of the project and theirrations were funded through the project. First Aid kits and pharmacy were provided. ACHIEVED ACHIEVED - The network of tracks in the park was maintained by hand locally recruited work- this refers to the whole 400 Km. PARTLY ACHIEVED - The training was held on 26th of March 2014 directed by the LEO Foundation in cooperation with the Garoua Wildlife School and MRC Association. The track sticks as stated in the original proposal were replaced by GPS provided by IFAW association. PARTLY ACHIEVED -35 participants were trained in the use of GPS and different monitoring techniques, approximately 25 eco-guards and 10 village guards

2B. Were any components unrealized? If so, how has this affected the overall impact of the project? Since the ecoguards have shown little interest in implementation and use of ecoguard housing, other buildings were built for them. It was decided to improve the level of the proposed constructions and 2

building to more comfortable housing (tin roofs, plaster and masonry floors) , doors and windows to meet the wishes of the guards. Completion of accommodation continues and has been nearly completed (on 17 October2014). The quality of the buildings originally planned has been greatly improved for more lasting housing. These buildings will also be at the disposal of the military units BIR (Bataillon d’Intervention Rapide) which were strengthened during the season and whose participation during patrols is growing. This delay did not affect the monitoring work, as housing is especially necessary in the rainy season and it will therefore be available in sufficient quantity for the start of the rainy season. The track sticks were not purchased because Mayo Rey Conservation association received in the meantime a grant for the purchase of GPS from the IFAW foundation that met the needs of the guards. 2C. Please list and submit (electronically if possible) any documents, tools, products, or methodologies that resulted from this project or contributed to the results. 1 - Report of the training workshop for guards (April 2014) 2 - National Lion Action Plan (version approved in April 2014) as a working document for the guards

3. Species Conservation Impacts

Note: Please use this section to summarize the overall impact of your project. Present results in terms of: - Overall impact of the project (see 3A to 3C below) - Project activities’ impacts on species status (see 3.1 below), - Population size and trajectories (see 3.2 below), - Critical habitat condition and trajectory (see 3.3 below), - Major threats (see 3.4 below), and - Enabling conditions for effective conservation (see 3.5 below). 3A. Planned Outcome(s) / Impact(s) (as stated in the project logical framework): “Long-term improvement of anti-poaching unit operations in the park to safeguard threatened elephant and lion populations.” 3B. Actual Progress towards Impacts at Completion: The project contributed to the preservation of elephants lions and other wildlife by making it possible in a particularly difficult context, to further actions against poaching in the park, and maintain effective field presence. This presence would have been impossible without the support of the project in particular because of the decrease in own revenues (operating revenues from the Lodge that also hosts the Mayo Rey Conservation Association) assigned to monitoring, following the collapse in tourism due to 3

the deplorable security conditions in the North and Far North Cameroon. 3C. Were there any unexpected impacts (positive or negative)? There were no unexpected impacts. We can however point out that the action of the project essentially aims to strengthen the protection of two flagship species such as elephants and lions, also benefits all other wildlife in the National Park through an umbrella effect. Note: Following the summary provided above, please use questions 3.1 to 3.5 to provide a detailed, technical response for results achieved from inception of SOS support to date. Provide responses within the context of stated project objectives, where possible. Attach annexes if necessary. Depending on the project, not all questions may be applicable. 3.1. SPECIES POPULATION - Did you stabilize or improve the conservation status of a species or important species population a. Global or target population: Note: Please state whether the project affected the global population or a target population of the target species. In the case of a target population please provide the estimated percentage of the global population affected. The project contributed to the protection of local populations of elephants. In the absence of any inventory of the earlier population-and post-massacres 2012, and because of lack of funds and the particular biology of the species, it is difficult to quantify the real impact of monitoring work on the target population in a short time. Monitoring work has also contributed to the protection of lions. Research conducted by "calling station" and counting suggest a population of lions in the National Park Boubandjida of approximately 60-80 individuals, which is higher than former estimates. This number represents a significant proportion almost 5% of the estimated population of lions in Central Africa. b. Indicate type and level of improvement or decline within the context of the following parameters: (i) numbers of individuals (use quantitative assessments, if available, otherwise state increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same over project period, with justification and methods); The elephant population has been no study before or after the massacre of 2012. However it may be noted that the number of direct and indirect observations of almost no elephants in 2013 increased significantly, reflecting the return of some herds of elephants in central and eastern of the park. Herds have also been observed reflecting a return to normalcy. Herds were observed in the direct vicinity of the lodge which had not been seen since the killings. It also 4

reflects a return to normalcy. The lion population is continually increasing in recent years, with 12 individuals seen repeatedly in 2014, with more and more daytime viewing, and increasingly observation of small groups. The work being conducted by the LEO Foundation and unfinished lead to a first minimum estimate of 60 to 80 lions in the park. (ii) population trajectory over a 5 year period from monitoring date as increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same (with natural ranges of variation taken into consideration; give quantitative estimates, if available). For elephants it is impossible to draw conclusions about such a short period, especially because no study has been conducted on their numbers before or after the massacre. Lions for a study conducted in 2004 by Dr. Hans Bauer estimated the population of lion 60. In 2009 a study conducted by Barbara Croes estimated the population to 63 individuals; work currently being conducted by the LEO Foundation lead to a first minimum estimate of 60 to 80 lions in the park. 3.2. IUCN RED LIST STATUS - After project implementation, can the species globally be considered for a change of Red List status, either positive or negative? If shifts of status within a category are applicable, describe relevant Red List metrics used to support assertion. Provide quantitative data, if available. NOT APPLICABLE - No change in Red List status for the targeted species could be expected from this project. 3.3. CRITICAL HABITAT - Did your project improve the quality or condition of a threatened species’ critical habitat within the project target area? Present in terms of the following parameters, where relevant: (a) the total area (that is, the suitable habitat available to the target or global population); The project contributes to limit the damage caused by nomadic herders and habitat (tree trimming, competition for forage competition for surface water). The fights against deforestation contributing to the sound management of bush fires, combating illegal crop establishment in the peripheral areas of the park. Fighting gold mining also helps to reduce the significant impact of these practices on the environment (siltation, pollution, land degradation, deforestation ...) (b) condition (note, this must be defined for suitability for each target species; for example, degree of fragmentation, edge effects, impact of invasive species, etc.); and All these actions help to maintain continuous protection, limit the fragmentation of habitat available for wildlife, gold panning and the massive presence of people along the rivers, also expansion of cultivation in the periphery areas.

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(c) estimated trajectory (that is, increasing, stable, decreasing) of critical habitat required by the population of the target species within the area addressed by the project. At the level of a year no quantifiable and significant changes; However, increasing pressure of gold panning and transhumant livestock raise fears of increasing habitat degradation. 3.4. DIRECT THREATS - Did your project stop or reduce important direct threats to a threatened species within the target area? Please state if the direct threats are for: (i) the target species; (ii) its critical habitat, or both. Present in terms of the threats’: (a) intensity (that is, high, moderate, low with criteria tailored to threat); Direct Threat 1: Poaching was initially rampant, and remains high, especially in the west section of the park due to high concentrations of miners which feed on wildlife. The project helped to contain this threat to a limited extent in the central area of the park, the regular presence of surveillance teams preventing major animal slaughter. Direct Threat 2 - Gold panning: Gold mining has increased and threatens the habitat and fauna through vegetation degradation, soil pollution, fragmentation between Protected Areas due to the presence of thousands of people over distances of tens of kms along streams such as Waimba mayo , SénaOura. The magnitude does not allow the project to make a real sustainable solution. We nevertheless tried to secure the richest parts of the park. Wildlife is threatened directly by the human presence by poaching, also by habitat degradation. Direct Threat 3 - Transhumance is usually elevated but seasonal; there is a significant increase due to the situation in the CAR and Nigeria. This represents a threat to the habitat and wildlife by the degradation it causes (decreased feed and water availability) and the poaching carried out by shepherds. Direct Threat 4 - Cultivation and deforestation: The threat is moderate. the encroachment of crops and the ensuing deforestation lead to loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation, mainly at the edges of the park (b) distribution (that is, widespread, common, localized); and Poaching is widespread throughout the park, but more intense as we approach the centre because of the increased density of wildlife. Fragmentation associated with gold mining, limited to the western edge of the park and Northwest Fragmentation and habitat degradation related to crops mainly confined to the east of the park Transhumance essentially contained in the northern third of the park with occasional forays into all parts of the park (c) area affected over time (that is, expanding, decreasing, stable using defined boundary) of 1-3 major, direct threats to the target species within the projects’ target areas. 6

Areas affected by the threats are expanding, owing to special conditions this year where insecurity has led thousands of people to flee neighbouring Central African Republic and Nigeria.

3.5. ENABLING CONDITIONS - Did your project contribute to improving, no impact on, or worsening enabling conditions that facilitate successful conservation for threatened species? Present in terms of the degree (that is, favorable, neutral, unfavorable) to which local socio-economic, political, and cultural conditions (that is, ‘enabling conditions’) contribute to the probability of success for conservation of the target species with the project area. Protected area tracking protocols are required, where applicable (consult with the SOS Secretariat on the appropriate PA tracking tool to use). Applicable metrics include: (a) legislative tools associated with species’ protection (poor, fair, good, very good; The existing legislative tools for the conservation of elephants and other wildlife are good but not applied. The level of penalty should be increased but the main problem is the non-application of the texts related to corruption, and general disinterest in conservation. The "Lion" action plan was legalized and approved by the Minister of Forests and Wildlife in April 2014. It is now usable. (b) financing for conservation (poor, fair, good, very good – based on available resources for conservation, sustainable financing mechanisms are developed and in place, public-private partnerships, positive benefits for community livelihoods, etc.); The available funding is far from sufficient despite promises constantly renewed by government. Publicprivate partnership is encouraged by the administration in public speeches but does not translate into action. The convention drafted by the MRC association with MINFOF was never signed. International projects have been funded by donors for 2014-2015. (c) wildland or protected area management effectiveness (poor, fair, good, very good – based on PA tracking tool indices applied to target area); and Not compiled for this project. (d) existence of robust conservation strategy or Action Plan for the species or critical habitat (poor, fair, good, very good – based on important features such as priority areas identified and ranked, representation analysis complete, thresholds of habitat and species population size and condition identified, conceptual model and conservation action plan developed, actions prioritized and results chains elaborated, monitoring program). A National Action Plan for the protection of lions exists, but no concrete action is currently visible for its implementation. No Action Plan for elephant conservation has been drafted to date, however, the implementation of protective actions following the massacre of elephants in the park in March 2012 are beginning to show. The presence of the military Batallion d’Intervention Rapide (BIR) in particular contributed greatly to prevent international poaching. 7

4. Lessons Learned Describe any lessons learned during the design and implementation of the project, as well as any related to organizational development and capacity building. Consider lessons that would inform projects designed or implemented by your organization or others, as well as lessons that might be considered by the global conservation community. a. Project Design Process: Note: Please describe what aspects of the project design contributed to its success or caused any shortcomings During the project design phase, government personnel (ecoguards) in Bouba Ndjida had explained that their participation in surveillance missions in the park was impossible due to the lack of equipment and resources. As such the intention of the project was to provide the minimum equipment and support to meet their needs and enable them to participate in patrolling missions, supporting and perhaps substituting the role of the community guards supported by MRC, pending the provision by the administration of their own equipment. The project did not succeed completely due to a total lack of commitment and personal motivation from the great majority of the ecoguards stationed at the National Park. Various new projects and initiatives following the elephant massacres of early 2012 have been little coordinated, leading to huge loss of time and resources as well as to unnecessary duplication. Support of the project to community guards was beneficial and helped to encourage them in their usual work. b. Project Implementation: Note: Please describe what aspects of the project execution contributed to its success or caused any shortcomings. Delays in the transfer of funds to the project at the beginning and phase two of the project caused delays in the startup of project and its activities. These had the additional negative effect of casting doubt and suspicion in the minds of the ecoguards who saw the commitments by MRC constantly postponed. Patrol work was mainly facilitated by participation in food costs so far incurred by the guards themselves. The financial contribution has also helped to maintain a significant level of activity despite the decline in own resources related to the drastic fall of park use. c. Other lessons learned relevant to the conservation community:

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We conclude that over the years and particularly since the massacre of elephants in 2012 much of the work of monitoring and effective protection was performed by community guards, despite the assignment of 60 civil servants as ecoguards to the Bouba Njidda National Park. It therefore seems essential to encourage public -private partnerships. Moreover, the provision of a modest budget for such actors has proven to date more effective than the implementation of budget for civil guards. Small organizations are active in the field but do not have the sufficient capacity for writing donor applications and complex relationships that encroach upon their field work. Many unfulfilled promises of the State contribute to discouragement and demotivation of all actors in the field, entailing an extremely negative impact on the execution of work.

5. Additional Funding Provide details of any additional funding that supported this project and any funding secured for the project, organization, or the region, as a result of the SOS investment in this project. Use the following categories: (i) Project co-financing (Other donors or your organization contribute to the direct costs of this project) LEO Foundation co-funding for the training in Cameroon included: 3000 USD, salary/allowance trainer Mayo Rey Conservation, 10,888 USD, salary/fee, community guards for anti-poaching patrols (ii) Grantee and Partner leveraging (Other donors contribute to your organization or a partner organization as a direct result of successes with this SOS funded project.) None (iii) Regional/Portfolio leveraging (Other donors make large investments in a region because of SOS investment or successes related to this project.) Upcoming projects (KFW, GIZ, ECOFAC ..) intend to involve MRC to participate in monitoring activities of the park and its periphery. This follows the good results obtained by MRC, in part thanks to the contribution of SOS.

6. Sustainability/Replicability Summarize the success or challenge in achieving planned sustainability or replicability of project components or results. Summarize any unplanned sustainability or replicability achieved. It is possible to reproduce the monitoring work and get the expected results with reasonable budgets 9

by replicating the actions of community guards through local structures and with moderate budgets. The project was the demonstration that field monitoring must rely primarily on the use of local personnel or from the nearby region, who know the land and social context. All effective anti-poaching operations conducted during the last few years were based on the involvement of community guards. To sustain this achievement it would be necessary to obtain the recognition of some official status for community guards, for example through the signature of a public-private partnership between MRC and MINFOF.

7. Safeguard Policy Assessment Provide a summary of the implementation of any required action toward the environmental and social safeguard policies within the project. This should be extracted from the responses provided in the Safeguards Aspects for SOS grants form submitted with past interim reports. Attach any additional document required. Safeguards Aspects final assessment completed.

8. Additional Comments/Recommendations

The project has met with the absence of support from the civil servants supposed to patrol the National Park (the 60 government-assigned ecoguards), despite repeated efforts to motivate and integrate ongoing actions. This has been a constant source of difficulties and intense disappointment for project managers. No answer has been found for these issues during the course of the project implementation and that the administration has done nothing to resolve these difficulties. Despite this and in a general context of growing insecurity, due to the threats caused to wildlife and personnel by the mass of miners and influx of nomadic herders, the MRC association continued its efforts, presence and protection of the park. It is necessary to understand that without our presence and given the lack of government staff commitment, the park and surrounding areas would have already experienced a devastating and widespread degradation. On another level it is necessary to understand that for small structures like ours, scattered over vast and remote areas with no means of modern communication, the constraints imposed by the administrative aspects of the SOS project ( drafting , reporting, etc. ... ) are very penalizing and impinge heavily on fieldwork.

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9. Information Sharing and SOS Policy SOS is committed to transparent operations and to helping Civil society groups share experiences, lessons learned, and results. Final project completion reports are made available on our website, www.saveourspecies.org and publicized in our newsletter and other communications. Please include your full contact details below: Name:

Ralph Buij

Organization name and

Leo Foundation

Mailing address: Tel:

+31 6 44066362

E-mail:

[email protected]

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