Information – 2009
Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCF) is the NGO, registered in Tanzania and the United States, that conducts community development activities, assists the Tanzanian Government in anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring activities, and conducts research on behalf of Tanzania Game Tracker Safaris (TGTS), Wengert Windrose Safaris (WWS), and Ker & Downey Safaris (KD).
Friedkin Conservation Fund therefore work in and around much of the protected area network in Tanzania, including Maswa Game Reserve (GR), Moyowosi GR, Ugalla GR, Kizigo GR and Muhesi GR, Makere Forest Reserve, as well as the world famous Lake Natron RAMSAR site.
FCF takes to heart the words of the late Honorable Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere, “The survival of our wildlife is a matter of grave concern to all of us in Africa. These wild creatures amid the wild places they inhabit are not only important as a source of wonder and inspiration but are an integral part of our natural resources and of our livelihood and well being.”
The Friedkin Conservation Fund has three main goals. These are:
- To assist the government and people of Tanzania in their efforts to conserve and protect the indigenous flora and fauna.
- To involve local people actively in sustainable conservation practices which will help improve their economic condition.
- To monitor the wildlife and human activities and provide information about sustainable conservation practices.
The components of FCF each contribute toward achieving these goals:
Poaching comes in many forms, from slaughtering elephants for ivory, to cutting protected trees for timber and charcoal. Every type of poaching is damaging to the environment and threatens the existence of the species living in that environment.
The FCF operates highly effective anti-poaching operations in all of the fourteen WWS and TGTS-leased hunting concessions in Tanzania. As there are vast areas to be monitored and there are dangers inherent in challenging some poachers, FCF takes great care in ensuring that all Anti-poaching staff are carefully trained and well-equipped.
Each of the 11 anti-poaching teams has a Tanzanian commander and is supported by a team of 3 rangers, a driver and is accompanied by an armed government game scout with the powers of arrest. The team travels in a fully-equipped Toyota Land Cruiser. In addition to having a complete anti-poaching unit for each area, the FCF operates two Mobile Anti-Poaching Units, which move between all the areas over the course of the year acting as reinforcement for pressing matters.
FCF has been fortunate with equipment sponsorship and funding from generous parties, and continues to appreciate assistance to maintain this costly operation. For areas where poaching on water is prevalent we use canoes and motorized boats. Our micro light program was launched in 2006, and has been incredibly productive in identifying high-impact areas that are then patrolled by the teams on the ground. Also at our disposal is the Maule, our small yellow airplane that is used primarily for reconnaissance work.
FCF Anti-Poaching teams operate and assist the Wildlife Division in 5 Game Reserves, 3 Forestry Reserves, 2 Open Areas, and 1 Game Controlled Area. This is a total of over 9 million acres.
Due to meticulous attention to training, the Anti-Poaching Unit has been able to be highly effective despite these vast areas and FCF efforts to curb poaching have yielded extremely worthwhile results. In 2008 alone, FCF teams in conjunction with Wildlife Division game scouts, successfully apprehended and assisted in prosecuting 2,067 poachers and confiscated paraphernalia including 1,832 snares and 134 confiscated firearms, including 39 automatic weapons. These were the most efficient results in East Africa. The FCF Anti-Poaching Unit has been honored with two prestigious awards from the Game Rangers Association of Africa in the past two years.
FCF recognizes that sustainable conservation can only succeed in coordination with the people living in and around the environments we seek to conserve. To this end, the Community Development Program of FCF works closely with communities neighboring the concessions of TGTS and WWS to promote livelihood practices that improve the standard of living in the communities while protecting the environments in which they exist.
Projects are designed and implemented in close collaboration with the local communities so as to most effectively achieve significant impacts. Officials from the 11 Districts in which FCF operates submit proposals to the FCF Community Development Program to meet the needs that are most pressing in their communities. These projects are funded through money that is generated from a 20% levy on trophy fees. This levy is the initiative of both TGTS and WWS and is paid by the clients over and above the government levies.
In addition to projects sponsored by trophy fee levies, FCF sponsors projects that meet more targeted needs in specific communities. This is made possible by funds raised from outside support and from additional contributions from FCF and TGTS clients.
Since 2003, the FCF Community Development Program alone has contributed approximately 650,000,000 Tsh to communities in the 11 districts surrounding the WWS and TGTS hunting concessions and the Arusha District. Community development projects have included environmental education, construction of schools and hospitals, student sponsorship, water projects and permiculture.
In addition to funded projects, FCF takes great care to hire people from the communities in the surrounding areas. In this way, local communities can directly benefit from the conservation work and tourism that is ongoing in the reserves they neighbor.
As tourism in Tanzania flourishes, FCF looks forward to continuing to be ever more actively involved in Tanzania’s protected areas and in the communities surrounding these unique environments. The Friedkin Conservation Fund will carry on its long-term commitment to community-based conservation in Tanzania and will continue to work with communities to increase the benefits they gain from the unique ecosystems in which they live.
Research and Monitoring
FCF are working collaboratively with Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), the research and monitoring arm of the Tanzanian Government. FCF has established a wildlife monitoring project with TAWIRI for the TGTS and WWS hunting concessions. As part of the wildlife monitoring project, an aerial census of wildlife in the Kizigo and Muhesi Game Reserves was conducted in November 2006. Wildlife counts will be centralized in a database and related to other data collected in the field such as rainfall, vegetation, incidents of poaching and hunting quotas and records in order to assist in management of these areas.
TAWIRI has certified five (5) FCF staff members in aerial surveys, in the first rounds of certification for non-TAWIRI and non-Wildlife Division personnel.
FCF use a Geographical Information System (GIS) as a management tool to create digitized maps to monitor wildlife, habitats and human activities.
FCF continues to assist in wildlife research and works cooperatively with other companies and the Tanzanian Government on broad-scale projects. In November 2008, FCF again played a major role in assisting Dr Alfred Kikoti, a respected researcher into elephant-human conflict. This year Dr Kikoti placed satellite collars on eleven (11) elephants and continues to monitor their movements and migratory routes.