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How GAFI Can Help Chimpanzees

Through the use of our film screenings and programmes, GAFI can reach the remote communities living adjacent to chimpanzee habitat to give them an insight into how great apes behave and solicit information about the peoples’ hopes and concerns for their environment. GAFI has the materials and the expertise to further enhance the conservation education programmes run by the sanctuaries caring for displaced chimpanzees.

By providing the sanctuaries with films and the necessary equipment, screenings can take place revealing how great apes live in the wild and the important role they play in the ecosystem to a wide variety of audiences from local communities to companies working in the area and government decision makers who could create the legal framework for protecting Chimpanzees. When funds become available, GAFI hopes to train sanctuary staff in how to make their own films about issues of relevance to their particular sanctuary and the surrounding communities and generate new films focusing on Chimpanzees, the threats they face and what solutions are possible...

GAFI films can help raise the plight of the chimpanzees both at a local and national level. Using this species as a flagship, GAFI hopes that increases awareness will create new opportunities for the creation of protected areas throughout their range which would not only greatly increase the survival of the species, but convey wider benefits for overall biodiversity in the region. GAFI is operating at every level it can access in order to support conservation and protection measures alongside the restoration of habitat through economic incentives such as eco tourism.

GAFI Chimpanzee Projects and Partners


Together with Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon were the first recipients of GAFI films in Africa. With help from GRASP and financial support from Born Free Foundation and Nutshell Productions the legal and logistical difficulties were finally overcome and GAFI could launch its ambitious task of bringing great ape conservation live on the big screen. GAFI was received with much enthusiasm and the encouraging results led to the expansion of GAFI in other countries in Africa.

GAFI has sent films to:

Government - Ministers for the Environment at the Seven Nations Heads of State Summit in February 2005. The Ministers for Cameroon were enthralled to receive them and they personally signed the contract for broadcasting the films on national television. This coincided with the Summit and much local publicity was generated by the license to air donation.

Television Networks - GAFI also arranged to broadcast the films on National TV stations in Cameroon where they were to be shown 4 times a year for 5 years: SRTV (broadcaster) & CRTV (broadcaster).

GAFI Partners / Project in Cameroon

Limbe Wildlife Centre

Limbe wildlife centre is at the heart of primate conservation in Cameroon. Evolving from the trade in illegal species, LWC provides a sanctuary to chimpanzees and other primates lucky enough to be seized. The centre is open to the public and has active environmental awareness campaigns and education programs aimed at ensuring the survival of endangered species and their environments. The centre also provides a safe and informative area for members of the community to see and learn about primates and the important roles they play in ecosystems.

Limbe Wildlife Centre received DVD’s for their education and bushmeat outreach work. To date over 5000 hundred school children and community members have seen the films and it is hoped that the increase in exposure will result in a greater understanding of the importance of great ape conservation.

GAFI has supplied films for the education and outreach programme run at the centre and in 2005, donated a data projector to enable the education programme to become mobile and be taken out to the villages and shown in situ.

To this day LWC is still running an active education program; running weekly Nature’s Club meetings at the centre. These clubs have 50 registered students who attend weekly lectures, video presentations and field trips.

In addition the centre has active schools outreach programs visiting schools every fortnight. The schools are in the Mount Cameroon ecosystem and are too far from the LWC for the students to visit here, so the LWC visits them!

During these trips, LWC staff members register pupils, deliver lectures, hold interactive discussion groups, facilitate video presentations and at the end of each term, pay for all the students to visit the LWC. Each term new schools are selected and the Nature Club begins the outreach programs once more.

Another effective way to engage with community members is via roadtrips where team members hit the road for a few weeks and visit different villages around the Mount Cameroon region. This is an important time for LWC staff to interact with bush meat hunters, form hunters’ associations, and increase the reach of their conservation projects.

Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund

The Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund aims to ensure Cameroon’s primates have a healthy future. Working with the government, local communities and other ecological groups around the world, we hope to show people the amazing diversity of wildlife in Cameroon, and explain exactly how and why it should be protected. GAFI was happy to provide CWAF with a set of films to use in their environmental outreach programmes.



The Lebialem Hunters’ Beekeeping Initiative

The Lebialem Hunters’ Beekeeping Initiative (LHBI) is a locally-led multi-stakeholder partnership based in the Lebialem Highlands of Southwest Province, Cameroon. This initiative aims to facilitate lifestyle changes in those economically dependent on the unsustainable bushmeat trade by providing them with the necessary training and equipment to become beekeepers.GAFI hopes to help this innovative initiative by providing environmental education films and assisting with the production of bespoke films on the advantages of beekeeping.


Inspired by the initial success for GAFI, Defra and WSPA donated some funding to keep the project going for another 6 months. This money allowed a coordinator to work part time and gave sufficient funding for copies to 5 more ape range state countries to be able to receive GAFI films.



Congo-Brazzaville is home to gorillas and chimpanzees and played a pivot role in the early success of GAFI. Along with Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville was the first country to receive GAFI films.

GAFI Partners / Projects in Congo-Brazzaville

Government - Ministers for the Environment at the Seven Nations Heads of State Summit in February 2005. The Ministers for Congo Brazzaville were enthralled to receive them and they personally signed the contract for broadcasting the films on national television. This coincided with the Summit and much local publicity was generated by the license to air donation.

Television Networks - The network Television Congo in Congo-Brazzaville received the films for airing 4 times per year for 5 years.

Jane Goodall Institute – Tchimpounga

Founded by renowned primatologist Jane Goodall, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) is a global nonprofit that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. The JGI- Tchimpounga centre has been running conservation awareness programs successfully in Congo Brazzaville since 1992.

Tchimpounga Sanctuary is situated on a coastal plain of savannah and galleried mosaic forest patches in Congo-Brazzaville and is the largest chimpanzee sanctuary on the African continent. Currently the sanctuary is housing over 100 orphaned chimpanzees – a number that is rapidly growing. Over the last two years, they have received 40 chimpanzees, and in the past year alone, we they have seen more than a 20 percent increase in the chimpanzee population at the sanctuary.

For more than 15 years, the Tchimpounga Sanctuary has provided a refuge in the Congo Basin for chimpanzees orphaned by the bushmeat trade. In most cases, the Congolese authorities deliver the chimpanzees to the sanctuary after confiscating them from hunters trying to sell the young chimps into the pet or entertainment trades.

At Tchimpounga, GAFI films are shown to a variety of audiences, with each screening having a specific emphasis on increasing the knowledge of the benefits of conserving great apes and their habitats.

  • 1.Films are shown to all project staff to ensure they can engage with the community concerns effectively.
  • 2.Films are shown to children participating in PLANET, the future Roots and Shoots members. The films are shown within the activities of JGI’s bushmeat projects aimed at engaging kids, parents and bushmeat sellers.
  • 3.Screenings are held in Tchimpounga village schools, again with an emphasis on bushmeat. Each screening is estimated to reach about 300 viewers.
  • 4.There are some cooperating agreements with local TV stations whereby GAFI films are lent to them and in return they will broadcast the films during primetime, at several different intervals.
  • 5.If the films are relevant to a specific excursion or current issue, the films accompany children during their excursion to Tchimpounga as part of the informal education materials.
  • 6.The videos are available permanently in the main office for visitors and are played routinely in the waiting room. The French cultural centre has also agreed to show the film for free and regularly hold open door days. After just one year after the project started 70 workers, 200 villagers, 7100 children (100 at Roots and Shoots and 7000 during PLANET in Pointe Noire) and 30 bushmeat sellers.

A staggering 100000-200000 viewers saw the films on local television and it is estimated that at least 1 million viewers had seen the films nationally thanks to this project!

Côte D’Ivoire

GAFI has not yet been able to send films to government officials or television networks in Côte D’Ivoire. however, with funding GAFI would be able to make this a reality. Côte D’Ivoire is home to chimpanzees, with no primate sanctuaries in the country and increasing pressure on the last remaining chimpanzee habitat, in situ conservation projects are vital to ensuring the survival of great apes in Côte D’Ivoire.

GAFI Partners / Projects in Côte D’Ivoire


WWF is working to develop and strengthen protected areas in Côte D’Ivoire. WWF is also working towards stopping illegal killing of apes in logging concessions and looking for solutions to stop the impact of the bushmeat trade on endangered species such as apes. GAFI has donated a set of films to WWF to use in their conservation outreach. Thanks to Defra (the Department for Food and Rural Affairs in UK) funding GAFI was able to support projects coordinated by WWF in Côte D’Ivoire.



Democratic Republic of Congo

The DRC is unique as it is home to three of the world’s great ape species, a claim that can be offered by no other country in the world. However DRC is a volatile, difficult and sometimes dangerous country to operate in. The political background has been relatively stable up until 2008, with lapses in between election processes.

Television networks - GAFI distributed two sets of 6 films to national broadcast stations Mirador and CEBS in DRC. The films highlighted behaviour and threats to gorillas, chimps, bonobos and their habitats in Congo basin. Potentially 1-3 million viewers will view the films and each film will be shown four times for two years.

GAFI is operating at every level it can access in order to support conservation and protection measures alongside the restoration of habitat through economic incentives such as eco tourism.

GAFI Partners / Projects In DRC

Government - GAFI played a pivotal role in instigating the screening of the films to DRC Ministers in government through a GRASP focal point. It is hoped that President Kabila will receive the films once the ministers have watched them.

IFAW Funding

With generous funding from IFAW, GAFI has been able to make a novel contribution to great ape conservation in the DRC. Thanks to IFAW funding, GAFI has been able to:

Distribute films to national broadcasters (see above)

Distribute films to a wide variety of conservation, education and training organizations and programmes. Through these partner organizations, GAFI is able to reach a variety of ages, remote regions and different levels of civil society. In total it is estimated that during these partnerships, at least 100 000 people will have access to these conservation films over the two year screening period.

Establish boat/river screenings along the Congo River. This unique approach enables GAFI to reach remote and isolated regions previously inaccessible for most NGOs.
Negotiate new titles of films from the BBC and French Broadcasters.

IFAW also provided funding for communities to be given DVD players enabling them to screen films in remote regions.


With the help of funding from Defra, GAFI was able to supply the WWF in DRC with a set of films. WWF have used GAFI films in schools and education awareness projects as well as using them to complement community based conservation programmes in DRC.





With the help and advice of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Gabon, GAFI has been able to support the conservation projects of a number of NGO’s in Gabon. Financial support was kindly given by Defra for the initial phases of these projects.

GAFI has sent films to:

Television - Radio et Television Gabonais for transmission 3 times for a year. Additional broadcast periods may be granted upon request to BBC

GAFI Partners / Projects in Gabon

The Wildlife Conservation Society

Has been working in Gabon since 1985 where it aims to protect the abundant biodiversity in the region that is being increasingly threatened by logging and fishing. WCS is also concerned with other issues that pose serious threats to wildlife and its habitats such as the commercialization of bushmeat and plans to extend mining activities in Gabon. WCS is also actively involved in supporting other organisations in Gabon to strengthen ecotourism opportunties. WCS uses GAFI films to complement their environmental outreach programmes.



In Minkebe National Park, Gabon, WWF mobile surveillance teams conducted anti-poaching operations in the park and in two adjacent logging concessions to reduce bushmeat hunting. WWF uses GAFI films as an additional resource in their outreach activities to promote great ape conservation.



Conseil National des Parcs Nationaux - GAFI has also provided films to this organisaton to include in their environmental awareness campaigns.

Mikongo rangers have also received GAFI films to help with their conservation education and training


GAFI has not yet been able to send films to government officials or television networks in Ghana however, with funding GAFI would be able to make this a reality.

GAFI Partners / Projects in Ghana

In Ghana, WWF are helping establish and manage protected forest areas to conserve chimpanzee populations. WWF have used GAFI films in schools and education awareness projects as well as using them to complement community based conservation programmes in Ghana.

Defra funding allowed GAFI to donate sets of films to Ghana for use with WWF on their conservation awareness projects.


GAFI has not yet been able to send films to government officials in Nigeria. however, with funding GAFI would be able to make this a reality.

Defra and WCS have been key to getting the GAFI screenings underway in Nigeria.

GAFI has sent films to:

Television networks - Cross River State Television have aired the films on television and have requested an extension of the license period in order to transmit the films more often. This has been negotiated with the BBC and a license granted.

GAFI Partners / Projects in Nigeria


The rainforest regions of Nigeria are widely recognized as biodiversity hotspots of global significance. The region is characterized by high species richness as well as numerous endemic species. WCS has worked with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) to support biodiversity research throughout south-eastern Nigeria. In particular, WCS has been focusing on the Afi and Mbe Mountain chain which links with the Cross River National Park, forming a rich landscape that offers refuge for plant and animal diversity. WCS is taking the GAFI films into their conservation education projects and monitoring and reporting will take place as part of the projects.

Pandrillus and Nigerian Conservation Foundation have a set of GAFI films for their outreach activities.


GAFI has not yet been able to send films to government officials or television networks in Rwanda. however, with funding GAFI would be able to make this a reality.


Without Defra it would not have been possible to provide NGOs in Rwanda with GAFI films for their conservation work.



GAFI Partners / Projects in Rwanda

WWF - GAFI was able to send a set of films to WWF for their educationawareness projects and are awaiting feedback from the projects that have been run so far.

Sierra Leone

GAFI has not yet been able to send films to government officials or television networks in Sierra Leone. however, with funding GAFI would be able to make this a reality GAFI in Sierra Leone has been supported by donations from individuals, Paul Mahoney and Mrs Kirk both in UK.

GAFI Partners / Projects in Sierra Leone

GAFI Pedal Powered Cinema - was donated to Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Tacugama was established in 1995 to enforce the law and rehabilitate confiscated , orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees with the aim of releasing them back into their natural habitat. It is illegal to trade or kill chimpanzees but the practise continues so Tacugama currently cares for 75 chimpanzees in several forest enclosures. GAFI screenings using the Pedal Powered Cinema will support Tacugama through education programmes and community sensitisation.

WWF - GAFI films were given to WWF for their conservation and outreach work.

Madelaine Westwood attended the PASA conference in Sierra Leone and was overwhelmed by the interest in GAFI films. One of the major aims for GAFI in is to support all PASA sanctuaries and provide them with the equipment and training to use films to convey important conservation messages and engage community members in primate conservation.

South Africa

Although South Africa is not the native home to any great apes species, Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary appealed for and received GAFI films to be used in their outreach programs.

Many of the issues facing great apes today are also affecting many other primates and their habitats across the world, thus watching conservation films can inspire people to contribute to conserving critical ecosystems all over the world. Monkeyland is not home to any confiscated chimps but increasing awareness of these species even in their absence is important for global great ape conservation.


GAFI has not yet been able to send films to government officials in Tanzania. however, with funding GAFI would be able to make this a reality.

GAFI has sent films to:

Television networks - The broadcaster Zanzibar TV has been given a full set of GAFI films for transmission.

GAFI Partners / Projects in Tanzania

With financial support from Defra, GAFI has been able to offers its screening programme to a number of NGOs working in Tanzania:

JGI Tanzania -Gombe

GAFI films play an integral role in JGI outreach projects. GAFI films are shown to:



  • 1. Adults from the villages supported by TACARE project, which is a project that focuses on 26 villages in the area around Gombe (namely the Greater Gombe Ecosystem). Community members are chiefly farmers, fishermen, and the women of the family all who rely on the natural environment for forest products and resources (e.g. wood, food, water, agriculture etc).
  • 2. Schoolchildren from the Roots and Shoots groups in the Kigoma area.
  • 3.Refugee schoolchildren from the Roots and Shoots groups in Lugufu Refugee Camp
  • 4.Professional colleagues, or groups visiting JGI, from abroad.

Conservation screenings attract anything between 15 and 100 people at each showing

Initially films were shown to groups visiting our Education Centre in Kigoma, but within a year the centre now uses them for general outreach activities in nearby villages.

World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society and College of African Wildlife Management, Mwekahave all also received GAFI films and we are waiting for feedback from their projects to assess the effectiveness of films used in conservation.

GAFI screenings are all monitored and the results are used to examine the effectiveness of screening conservation films. An outreach student from Mweke has requested and received GAFI films to take back to his village for educational purposes.


Defra came to the financial assistance of GAFI once again, and the Wildlife Conservation Society kindly took the lead in distributing GAFI films for screenings in Uganda. GAFI has not yet been able to send films to government officials in Uganda. however, with funding GAFI would be able to make this a reality.

GAFI has sent films to:

Television networks - Ugandan Television have been given GAFI films for transmission

GAFI Partners / Projects in Uganda

Pedal Powered Cinema - The first GAFI Pedal Powered Cinema had its field trial in Southern Uganda in 2005 screenings films about the Great Apes to school children, rangers, Ugandan Army, Organic Farmers, Local Government Officials, Ugandan Education Minister, Parents and Local Media. In its first 10 years of continued screenings programmes GAFI has achieved the following:




  • 215000 school children have seen films about conservation and implemented their own conservation solutions.
  • 27000 children have been taken to visit the forest for the first time.
  • Teachers workshops have provided education in conservation issues and solutions.
  • With Wildlife Clubs of Uganda, great ape ambassadors have been created to visit communities and initiate local conservation projects.
  • Local Media run regular news items about conservation projects.
  • 12000 trees have been planted to prevent forest being destroyed and provide food for communities.

GAFI sent a second Pedal Powered Cinema to Northern Uganda to be shared between three field projects including the Kibale Wood Project, enhancing their outreach education work.

Kibale Community Fuel Project - Has requested and been given a set of GAFI films for their education programme especially supporting the chimpanzee education awareness project.

The centre piece of the Kibale Community Fuel Wood Project’s education outreach will be the Pedal Powered Cinema . As an international environmental treasure, Uganda’s national parks have been featured in numerous films. These educational films documenting will be shown through a simple projection device. This will allow large audiences to view films that have made their country famous. People whose only encounters with wildlife have been crop raiding will be afforded a new way to view nature. General East African nature films have been acquired, as well as two films focusing on apes, but we would really like to highlight apes more, as they are such key members of the Kibale ecosystem, and because their charisma (visible through film) could make a big difference in the way they are viewed by locals living around the park.

Together with the Kibale Community Wood Fuel project, GAFI has been screening conservation films in the Kibale National Park, Uganda and do far over 65000 people have seen the films. This number is sure to climb through active screenings and focus group sessions.

WCS are happy to use GAFI films to support their conservation work

Jane Goodall Institute – Ngamba Island – Uganda

JGI has accepted GAFI library for their outreach and educational projects.

Ngamba Island is truly a unique place, with an acre of excellent secondary forest habitat, this sanctuary and island centre provides a home for numerous orphaned and displaced chimpanzees where they can live out their days exhibiting normal behaviour and without the confines of cages. As part of the education and outreach of this centre, there are guided walks and tours where various members of the community can come and visit and learn about the conservation of great apes and their environments. School groups are routinely brought in the field centres and a new project is being developed to bring endangered species conservation to schools and communities that cannot reach the centre.

GAFI films are shown at various stages in the education activities and the numbers of viewers grows monthly. These films are especially important for programs where people cannot visit the centre and see great apes for themselves.

Kibale and Kisoro

GAFI had phenomenal success in Uganda targeting the specific areas of Kibale and Kisoro.

An overwhelming number of people gathered in churches, schools and community centres to watch the films. Field challenges included, ever increasing fuel prices, very large attendance numbers without matching space to accommodate people- consequently the films had to be shown in shifts which resulted in long journeys back to towns/remote areas.

In addition due to lack of space, some people had to be turned away which was very frustrating and disappointing for them. Sadly 8 schools were unable to make screenings due to the distance they would have to travel to the screening venue and lack and expense of transport.

The most incredible testament of the desire of young children to watch GAFI films, to ensure everyone had access to watch conservation films came from the Ndeego region. This area is extremely remote with very poor roads; nevertheless children from 6 different schools in the region had walked 20 miles to reach a very big community church suitable for screenings. Sadly the 1000 people who had walked for hours to attend a screening were denied access to any of the rooms as they were said to be for religious purposes only. Thanks to the dedication of the staff and the patience of the children, screenings were held in shifts in a small room of the Ndeego Senior Secondary School. The available room could accommodate 50 people, so films were shown the whole day on repeat until every last person had seen the film.

However, despite all these challenges, in just 10 days, 9527 people had watched GAFI films, with 42 schools participating in the screenings and 200 questionnaires being completed. Feedback from the projects has provided us with exciting new opportunities for future work in Uganda and as usual our list of community based organisations interested in GAFI screenings grows monthly.

Who Else Is Helping?


Ape Alliance
IUCN Red List
Primate Info Net