World Wildlife Day 2023
Today we are celebrating World Wildlife Day (WWD), a United Nations International Day to celebrate all animals and plants and the contribution that they make to our lives and the health of the planet. The theme this year is ‘Partnerships for wildlife conservation.’
Partnerships are key to the DelAgua Live Well programme. The Government of Rwanda (GoR) is leading the way with a tough climate action plan which places environment and climate change at the heart of the government’s decision making. This is reflected in their long- term commitment to the Tubeho Neza project and our partnership with the Government of Rwanda is central to the success and scale of the project. In 2022 DelAgua formed two new partnerships, signing MoUs with the Governments of Sierra Leone and The Gambia and we have recently began distributing innovative, high-quality, high-performance stoves to the poorest rural communities in these two countries. The DelAgua stove significantly reduces wood consumption and the associated deforestation, so vital wildlife habitats are preserved.
Rwanda has one of the richest varieties of flora and fauna in Africa. Its forests are home to a remarkable diversity of plants, insects, birds and mammals. This biodiversity is under threat from the pressure on their environment from a large and growing population and in particular from the harvesting of firewood. Most famously, Rwanda’s forestry is home to half the worldwide population of Mountain Gorillas, the world’s most endangered ape. Only about one thousand remain in the wild and they are on the IUCN Red List of wildlife threatened with extinction. The DelAgua stove enables rural communities to sustain themselves without encroaching onto forestry for firewood and damaging the ecosystem. The Mountain Gorillas’ survival depends on limiting human intrusion and disturbance and the conservation of forestry. The good news is that today Mountain Gorilla numbers are slowly rising. Find out more about Tubeho Neza here.
In The Gambia, along the lower part of the Gambia River are dense mangrove swamps. These swamps are a transitional zone between aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Mangroves are among the most carbon-rich habitats on the planet and conserving and expanding them is a key strategy to combat climate change. The vegetation of the river and of its creeks provides a favourable habitat for insects, animals and birds.
Hippopotamuses and crocodiles are found in the river here and approximately 400 kinds of bird have been spotted. These include kingfishers, cuckoos, herons, swallows, sunbirds, grass warblers, and hawks. We have started distributions of 25,000 stoves to this region. Find out more about Live Well here.
Sierra Leone has incredibly diverse habitats, from tropical rainforests to dry savannah, this provides an ideal home for many different species. Sierra Leone is home to 15 identified species of primates, many of which are protected species and incredibly rare to see, especially in their natural habitat. These include the chimpanzee, rare pygmy hippo, forest elephant and a variety of monkey species. The West African Manatee is also found in Sierra Leone, and can be found in the mangrove creeks. We are currently distributing 2,000 stoves to households in the Bo and Bonthe Districts in the south of the country, a coastal region with extensive mangrove swamps which have been heavily impacted by wood fuel harvesting. Find out more about Livɛ Fyn here.
To find out more about how our Live Well programme is delivering a nature-based solution to benefit wildlife, nature and people, protecting ecosystems and safeguarding biodiversity, watch our latest video below.