how we've supported conservation and the Gambian economy
Project Wild Gambia works in collaboration with leading wildlife biologists, zoologists and researchers to address critical issues that diminish local wildlife populations.
We have rediscovered several species, increased the known global population of an endangered primate by almost one quarter and contributed to numerous significant scientific publishings. We have a range of evolving and ground-breaking conservation projects that you can get involved in on our expeditions or field courses.
Whilst we are also working on new projects, we are hopeful that we will make more important discoveries and contributions for The Gambia's wildlife.
Our major contributions to the Gambian wildlife do not come without cost as we must be aware of the global implications of our trips. To counteract this, we are working towards offsetting our carbon footprint (read more here) from transport by planting 10,000 carefully selected species of trees in the next 10 years! This also works to create new and improved habitats in this extremely overexploited country.
LOCALS AND ECONOMY
Besides our huge contributions to wildlife, we have significantly boosted the eco-tourism sector of the Gambian economy. In the last 20 years, trips led by our staff have bought 10,000 bed nights in The Gambia. In accommodation costs alone, that’s more than 550 years of the average wage! We spend at least twice as much again on other things such as local drivers' wages, park admissions, guide fees etc. With our commitment to using local-owned businesses (where possible) we are benefiting locals in an abundance of ways, and plan to keep it up!
The presence of our participants at wildlife sites helps highlight to locals that there is more value in preserving the forests than over-exploiting them. Rural communities directly benefit from the income generated by the tourist entry fees at these reserves. We work to improve and expand these forests and encourage the sustainable use of forest products in order to attract and conserve more threatened wildlife while boosting the local villages.
Gambian bird guides, conservationists and drivers really suffered from the close-down of tourism during and after the pandemic and there is no safety net in The Gambia. These workers are the eyes and ears of conservation in The Gambia and need support in these difficult times.
Project Wild Gambia have continued to financially support our Gambian team despite no trips taking place. This is especially important as Tobaski is coming up (Gambia's Christmas). We had some lovely messages and photographs from our team and they're all having a great time.
We have set up an appeal in response to people kindly asking if they could donate to help support Gambia conservationists. A basic wage is only £30 per month and we are looking for people to donate that amount to help us support key Gambian friends and family. Apart from the support, any extra funds will be directed towards helping our new bushbaby reserve (the first in West Africa) and growing our tree nursery.
If you would like to make a donation, please click here, and if you can't make a contribution right now, please share our fundraiser page for others to see!
Thanks for any contribution you can make (it goes a very long way in The Gambia) and Eid Mubarak to all of our friends wherever they are!
We also fundraise to put long term solutions in place to support education and conservation while increasing the quality of life where possible.
Project Wild Gambia raised £870, part of which allowed the Young Wildlife Conservation Group at Tallinding school to take part in educational trips. These trips teach students how to identify and conserve their local wildlife, for example, by planting tree nurseries. This provides students with valuable skills that can be applied to a range of jobs, expands fragmented forests and gives students the opportunity to travel inland as a needed break away.
For everyone joining one of our trips, a significant contribution is made to environmental and social projects in The Gambia. This includes not only the carbon offsetting scheme which is supporting reforesting but other projects such as educational trips for local schools and communities to learn about and appreciate the importance of wildlife.
We create new forest areas and restore degraded forests by, for example, adding key native species (such as grey plum and mahogany), creating waterholes and fencing to prevent overgrazing.
Rural communities directly benefit through the income generated by these reserves from eco-tourism and the sustainable use of forest products.
Germination and growth rates are recorded and analysed allowing "best practice" guidelines to be shared throughout the region to ensure conservation measures are most successful.