There's no right way to eat a rhesus

Lauren Redmore

A part of our recent fieldwork included using common village trails to enter into the forest. I was surprised at how easy it is, with the right guides, to find your way into logging concessions. Our work has proven that the logging concessions are the only accessible zones where villagers note having conflict with poachers, and our network looks to strengthen the ties between logging companies, government officials, and local communities to improve anti-poaching efforts and results."

Often the trails that locals take are relatively well-groomed forest paths. This is because of frequent visits to the forest over the years using the same routes. This path, however, is a road that was built for forest exploitation several years ago. Roads like these can remain in the forest for a long time and facilitate access to the resources.

This village is located on a major intersection of roads for rural transport. Right before we left this village after working two days with community members, a poacher sat in the same restaurant as my assistant and bragged about his tactics for hiding ivory so as to not get caught by the authorities. We are hoping that the development of this network will reverse the power; poachers should be afraid to talk about their work, and communities should be proud of their efforts in forest protection.

A participatory mapping exercise with Baka pygmie participants in one community where we will test out a community surveillance network helped us to identify where locals use the forest and where major conflict occurs with poachers coming from the outside. People say they are willing to walk 9 kilometres to denounce these kinds of illegal activities.

The "fripperie" is where people buy second-hand clothes, usually discards or bulk purchases from donations in the West. This shirt, originally intended to be tongue-in-cheek, is worn by a young man in village who says that he loves bushmeat.


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