Right, it certainly has been many a moon since the last post here so let’s make a concerted effort to get some blogging action flowing! Following a visit to my homelands for a couple of weeks, I am back in the land of the smiling people, lathered with renewed vigour and positivity about the project and its prospects for the coming months….
News! …so what is new in these lands? Well, there have been developments with a BBC Natural World documentary the preparation of which has begun with filming intended to commence in the new year; more articles in local newspapers; continuation of our school project; the preparations of our awareness campaign across key regions and our trip to Bacan Island (more to come on this!); greater educational scope with video conferencing and some interesting new prospects for our broader conservation activities which we should now have the capacity to get off the ground…more about this soon!
One major development is the welcome addition of new individuals to the programme. Gaetan Masson from France is set to become the new Field Project Coordinator in the next month, and will be responsible for organising and coordinating the research and conservation projects. Gaetan knows the area and conservation issues well, and has developed substantial experience in the region, so will be a highly valuable addition to the team. Although we have not yet established a fully operational volunteer programme, our first volunteer Lynne Werner from Germany has arrived and will be helping to lighten the workload and get involved with the conservation activities, whilst gaining valuable experience into how conservation works. Thirza Loffeld from the Netherlands will also be arriving soon, joining Lynne with bolstering our conservation efforts. We welcome Gaetan, Lynne and Thirza to the team and look forward to their valuable input. Introductions will follow soon…
Over the 4th-5th September I will be ornamenting the stage at the Wallace-Darwin Symposium in Makassar, South Sulawesi presenting a talk about community-based conservation and how we at SY approach conservation issues. This should enable not only a good broadcast of the Selamatkan Yaki programme but also, as is always at these events, the coming together of a diversity of individuals with similar focus to their efforts. Creating the perfect opportunity to chinwag and potentially develop some strong connections, seeds may be planted for cross-programme support within our mutual interests. It’s all about the networking!
After many fruitful meetings and a presentation at Paignton Zoo,the home of WWCT, plus the emergence of some interesting new developments I am feeling even more hopeful of us reaching our objectives and helping protect the forest homes of the yaki. We hope to get some of our direct, focussed conservation projects off the ground in the next few months, putting us on track to reduce the threats imposed upon the jaw-droppingly handsome black macaques.