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Forest communities generate income while conserving their environment

Our Farmer story from DRC talks about methods to help wild animals and humans co-exist peacefully. So does our Script of the week.

Populations of many wild animals and plants are declining. For example, it is thought that there were three to five million African elephants in the 1930s and 1940s. Their number is probably less than half a million today. In the past, illegal trade in ivory posed the greatest threat, but since the 1989 ban on the ivory trade, the biggest problem is loss of habitat from expansion of logging and agriculture. For some other species, bushmeat hunting is the most immediate threat.

Some communities experience serious damage to crops and even loss of human life from conflicts with wild species. These situations are largely due to expansion of human populations into wildlife habitat. But villagers must find food and generate an income. How are wild species and human populations to live harmoniously side-by-side?

In many cases, governments and NGOs are working with communities to find sustainable ways of interacting with and preserving their natural environment. In other cases, communities themselves have found ways to preserve their environment while feeding themselves and generating an income.

This script profiles a project in the South West Region of Cameroon. A large international NGO —World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)—is helping forest communities to develop enterprises that generate income from wild species without destroying the forest. If you research what is happening in your own area, you may find similar projects operated by WWF and other organizations.

This script is based on actual interviews. You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.