Strategy 6: Land-use planning (LUP)
© Erin Wessling
Until now, western chimpanzees have rarely been considered in LUP processes, at either theoretical or practical levels. The overlap of the western chimpanzee’s geographic range with proposed development corridors (Laurance et al. 2015) demonstrates the considerable potential costs to chimpanzees – 10% of the population lives within 25 km of one of the four proposed (Heinicke et al. 2019a; and see Figure 3, p.18).
In addition, in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, in particular, there is extensive overlap between areas with suitable environmental conditions for chimpanzees (defined by Junker et al. 2012) and areas suitable for agricultural development, such as oil palm plantations (Wich et al. 2014). Furthermore, even when the needs of chimpanzees are considered, this is through environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs) on a project-by-project basis, and the cumulative impacts these projects impose upon chimpanzees are typically ignored.
There is, therefore, an urgent need to integrate chimpanzee conservation at a variety of scales. This will involve three levels of planning (Lanjouw 2014): strategic environmental assessments (SEAs), systematic conservation planning (SCP), and mitigation and offsets. The first section of this strategy presents actions specifically concerning the first two levels, and the second section addresses mitigation and offsets. It is of paramount importance that the conservation community gets involved at the earliest stage possible of potential SEAs to ensure avoidance of chimpanzee habitats being affected at the outset.
Objective 6.1: By 2028, all national governments have articulated and implemented national SEAs that include consideration of chimpanzees.
Objective 6.2: By 2029, a range-wide SEA including chimpanzees is articulated and national LUPs of each range state are updated accordingly.
Objective 6.3: By 2026, chimpanzee experts are involved in 100% of LUP exercises performed in the region.
Objective 6.4: By 2023, all regional LUP agencies are aware of the status of chimpanzees in their operating framework and of local drivers of decline.
Objective 6.5: By the end of 2024, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have performed national-level SCP, including future scenario evaluation of impacts on chimpanzees, and definition of conservation goals.
Objective 6.6: By 2026, SCP results have been incorporated by the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone into national and local LUP outputs.
Objective 6.7: By 2028, all eight western chimpanzee range countries have performed national-level SCP, including threat impacts and future scenario evaluation for chimpanzees, and the definition of conservation goals.
Objective 6.8: By 2027, SCP results from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are coordinated across the three adjacent countries.
Objective 6.9: Starting in 2020, participation of chimpanzee experts is required in all LUP exercises and any other activities requiring an ESIA by governments.
Objective 6.10: Starting in 2020, all LUP exercises and activities requiring an ESIA by governments involve chimpanzee experts in formal follow-up evaluation of impacts on chimpanzees.
Objective 6.11: By 2024, 100% of industrial projects in West Africa adequately implement ESIAs with ARRC Task Force approval.
Objective 6.12: Starting in 2020, all formalised LUPs incorporate artisanal mining as a form of land use.
Objective 6.13: By 2023, macro-zoning plans exist for 100% of PAs to eliminate illegal extraction in PAs, which encourage ASM extraction in chimpanzee-friendly locations elsewhere.
Objective 6.14: By the end of 2028, an integrated land-use and chimpanzee population management plan incorporating cultural and genetic diversity is adopted by range states.
Objective 6.15: By 2021, 40% of existing regional multi-sectorial decision-making platforms (MSPs) contribute to strengthening the coordination of western chimpanzee conservation across range states.
Objective 6.16: By the end of 2021, stakeholders have engaged with or established regional platforms that incorporate chimpanzee cultural and genetic diversity into their planning.
Objective 6.17: By 2029, all western chimpanzee range countries have developed and are implementing a national offset strategy that incorporates systematic conservation planning for chimpanzees and biodiversity.