In May 2000 Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) hosted the first meeting specifically intended to allow representatives from primate sanctuaries in Africa, their sponsors and the conservation organizations working with them, to unite their diverse skills and outline the priorities for the future.
The event was prompted by the crisis in sanctuaries faced with an alarming rise in the number of primates displaced from the wild.
The workshop was carried out in collaboration with, and supported by, the Primate Specialist Group and the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group SSC/IUCN. Participants included sanctuary workers from 10 African countries*, a wide range of conservation organizations directly involved in fundraising for the sanctuaries** and a handful of researchers and vets.
The principal outcomes of the workshop were:
1. Creation of a network of communication and support between sanctuaries,
2. Recognition of a need for sanctuaries to target the root causes of the crisis faced by primates in the wild. The role of sanctuaries is thus no longer seen as just one of refuge for animals coming out of the wild, but rather as centres from which local conservation issues can be tackled through education and lobbying.,
3. Pooling of knowledge of sanctuary workers resulting in the compilation of a set of a guidelines which may be used in the establishment of new sanctuaries and/or the resolution of common problems (i.e. “The Chimpanzee Sanctuaries Guidelines and Management Workshop Report” available from CBSGfirstname.lastname@example.org at a cost of US $35)
4. Resolution to improve communication between sanctuary workers, conservation/sponsor organizations representing them, and the international community
5. Establishment of the Pan-African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) i.e. an umbrella organization uniting sanctuaries across Africa
The establishment of the Pan-African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) is thought to be particularly important since it will allow the sanctuaries to continue liaising with one another and the conservation/sponsor organizations, as well as uniting the voices of sanctuaries throughout Africa.
Three sub-committees were formed: lobbying, fundraising and communication. Members of each sub-committee are responsible for designing a ‘plan of action’ which will in all cases include targeting both the local issues of the sanctuaries’ host country and the international involvement necessary for the resolution of the current crisis.
A follow-up workshop is planned for the coming May, and preliminary plans have been laid out by the Pan-African Sanctuary Alliance subcommittees. For further information contact Norm Rosen (NormRosen@aol.com) or visit the PASA website at http://www.andkeys.com/pasa
Chimpanzee Conservation Centre, Guinea; David Greybeard, South Africa; HELP International, Congo; Kitwe Point, Tanzania; Limbe Wildlife Centre, Cameroon; Ngamba Island Sanctuary, Uganda; Pandrillus, Nigeria; Sanag-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Centre, Cameroon; Sweetwaters, Kenya; Tacugama, Sierra Leone; Yaounde Zoo, Cameroon
** Uganda Wildlife Education Centre; Jane Goodall Institute; Cleveland Metroparks Zoo; International Primate Protection League; Copenhagen Zoo; Born Free Foundation; International Fund for Animal Welfare; Bristol Zoo Gardens; Foundation Step by Step; Adelaide Zoo; Fund for Animals.