for the coexistence
of wildlife and people
Human / wildlife coexistence
In our work on sustainable human and wildlife coexistence, it has been shown that it is necessary to specialize in some wildlife species in order to work more effectively. Our focus is on some key species (keystone species), i.e. species that are particularly important for the ecosystem, through whose protection the entire system is protected.
In our project countries in Africa, the protection and coexistence with elephants is a central concern of our work. Elephants are the largest land mammals on earth, highly intelligent and very social. And they are extremely critically endangered. Only if it is possible to save them from extinction can there be hope of permanently protecting countless other animal species that share their habitat with elephants.
A major topic of our foundation work is the global protection of forests and the associated biodiversity. We rely very heavily on the people who live in or from these forests. Especially in the global south, these are often local, small village communities or indigenous peoples. In almost all forest regions in and for which we work there are "wild cats", both of the subfamilies Panthera (such as lions) and Felinae (cheetahs, servals, African golden cats, etc.). We therefore also work closely on the subject of "wild cats “And their coexistence with people, especially since they very often get into conflict with people because they kill pets, livestock and sometimes people. This creates a further connection to our work in Germany on the subject of lynxes and wild cats.
One focus of our work in Africa is on the forests. Through our work we would like to make a contribution to preserving the rainforest areas of West and Central Africa as well as the much less known dry forests of East Africa. This work is closely linked to the protection of elephants, big cats and other wild animals in these forest regions. We believe that it is possible to implement forest and species protection, even with a steadily growing population, together with the people living in the wilderness areas and to develop ways of sustainable coexistence.
Even if we succeed in slowing down the global destruction of forests and perhaps even stopping it at some point, the loss of forests and species will be immense by then. We are therefore particularly concerned with the possibilities of renaturation and reforestation of already lost forest areas and, where this is not possible, with ways to at least reconnect existing forest areas and create corridors for wild animals from which the population also benefits. In agriculturally used areas where the forests were cleared generations ago and larger wild animals have disappeared, we try to develop models of how nature conservation can be implemented together with the local population and the first forest ecosystems can emerge again, which initially bring back smaller wild animals , but can also serve as corridors for large wild animals in the long term. Our project work in Kenya is primarily dedicated to these topics.
Indigenous forest peoples and local village communities
It is precisely the people living in and around the forests who often live in intensive contact with wild animals and are therefore most likely to be exposed to conflicts. While people of indigenous peoples are mostly deeply rooted in their habitat, which usually also includes the sustainable coexistence with wild animals, "civilization" seems to influence us to the effect that it is increasingly difficult for us to coexist with wild animals, especially when they are potentially dangerous animals . It is an important aspect of our work to learn from people in wild animal regions about ways of coexistence with wild animals, but also to provide assistance in coexistence with them, to develop models for long-term coexistence also for other regions and to help people with this to receive the necessary government support in the event of damage or even death caused by wild animals. Only if people living in wild animal regions do not have exclusively negative connotations to live with wild animals can wild animal populations also be preserved outside of protected areas and global biodiversity in many regions of the world.