- Our work
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity founded in 1826, is a world-renowned centre of excellence for conservation science and applied conservation, carrying out field conservation and research in over 50 countries across the globe. ZSL?s mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. This is realised by:
? conducting world-leading conservation science;
? implementing effective field conservation projects;
? providing decision-makers with the best conservation advice;
? building conservation capacity and inspiring people to connect with the natural world.
ZSL works with governments, civil society and the private sector to conserve species and habitats, encouraging the responsible use of natural resources to underpin sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods. The Society contributes to building conservation capacity and skills in the UK and abroad through educational programmes, workshops, Masters and PhD courses and awards to support young conservationists. ZSL convenes experts to address challenging science, conservation and development issues, including hosting high-profile public meetings, symposia and national and international workshops, and disseminates information through the ZSL website, the media, reports, books and peer-reviewed journals. ZSL aims to inspire people of all ages and sectors of society to value the natural world and engage in conservation.
1. Bushmeat alternatives in Equatorial Guinea. Research conducted by ZSL and partners into the causes and effects of bushmeat hunting and trade in continental Equatorial Guinea since 2002 has found that bushmeat hunting for the commercial trade is becoming increasingly unsustainable, with detrimental effects on both wildlife populations and people?s livelihood security. This project builds on this research and is working with government, national and international institutions and local communities to evaluate culturally and economically feasible alternatives to bushmeat, both in terms of a source of food and income, to build local capacity to carry out socio-economic monitoring and then to implement pilot projects to test the most suitable options. www.zsl.org/equatorialguinea
2. The Wildlife Wood Project, Cameroon. This project works with the timber industry in Cameroon and is assisting companies to manage their concessions in a ?wildlife-friendly? way whilst ensuring that local livelihoods are maintained. In Cameroon the project is assisting local communities in setting up community hunting zones in the periphery of and within logging concessions in order to ensure sustainable bushmeat harvest and the preservation of protected species populations in timber production forests. www.zsl.org/wildlifewoodproject
3. Working with communities to reduce deforestation and alleviate poverty in the Virunga-Hoyo region, DRC. The aim of this project is to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in the Virunga-Hoyo region of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo whilst simultaneously alleviating poverty by creating economic incentives for poor local people linked to reduced deforestation (including REDD+, agroforestry, fuel-efficient stoves and tree nurseries) and building capacity of park authorities to conserve forest. www.zsl.org/virunga/
4. Mikongo Conservation Centre. Gabon. Situated within Lopé National Park, ZSL has carried out different activities at Mikongo, including a pilot eco-tourism project, field surveys, research and community outreach to support wildlife conservation and community development, with a particular focus on monitoring and mitigating the risks of disease transmission between great apes and humans. www.zsl.org/mikongo
5. Community-Based Mangrove Rehabilitation Project, Philippines. This project is working to support the coastal communities in Panay, Philippines, by reverting abandoned, undeveloped and underutilised fishponds to healthy mangrove forests, in order to provide communities with increased coastal protection, food resources and livelihood income through the sustainable and equitable management of the forest. www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/asia/mangrove-philippines/
6. Project Seahorse is working with poor subsistence fishing communities the Danajon Bank, a rare double barrier coral reef that touches on 17 municipalities in four provinces (Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Southern Leyte) in central Philippines. Designated as a biodiversity conservation priority area, it experiences some of the highest rates of poverty and overfishing in the country. Local communities are traditionally fishers, dependent on marine resources for their livelihoods and food. Family sizes are large and the population is growing rapidly, with a dearth of employment.
7. Using seahorses as a focus, Project Seahorse has already helped catalyse 33 community-managed no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) in the region. Although the Bank?s marine resources have been grossly depleted, new hope is emerging among local people as these MPAs have resulted in a measurable resurgence in marine life. www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/asia/project-seahorse/
8. Berbak Carbon Value Initiative, Indonesia. The Berbak carbon project is helping forest managers create an economic incentive to conserve the Berbak ecosystem for the benefit of climate, communities and biodiversity and a new model for conservation forest management in Indonesia. Communities have been incorporated into project planning from the start and will directly benefit from the project. www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/asia/indonesia/
9. Asian Elephant Conservation Project, Thailand. This project aims for a practical, sustainable solution to human-elephant conflict. The project is carrying out research to better understand the nature and scale of the crop-raiding problem around the forest, testing different crop-protection measures and developing a locally-based and managed ecotourism venture that builds on the project in such a way as to benefit those who bear the cost of living with elephants. www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/asia/asian-elephant-thailand/
10. Sundarbans Tiger Project (STP), Bangladesh. The STP works with local communities to help conserve the Sundarbans; the largest mangrove forest in the world, a source of livelihood for millions of villagers, and a natural buffer to devastating cyclones that would otherwise destroy homes and agricultural lands www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/asia/tiger/index,96,ZI.html
11. Community management of the riverine resources in western lowland Nepal for the benefit of people and wildlife. In Nepal there is no Government policy on wild fisheries for the >1.5 million people who depend on them for income and nutrition. ZSL have developed a project to increase sustainability of the fisheries of the Karnali and Babai river systems in western Nepal through building capacity in marginalised fishing communities and Government. Riverine habitats are being degraded and destroyed and fishing communities that are already poor and marginalised face further threats to their health, food security and income. This prospective project aims to improve access to resources, implement the rights of, and promote social inclusion of marginalised fishing communities. Further, by developing a national policy, government capacity to manage this critical resource will be increased.
12. Bushmeat Research Programme. The Bushmeat Research Programme is involved in research to enhance our understanding of the bushmeat trade in West and Central Africa, to assist both policy makers and project managers to develop effective methods of regulation and management for sustainability. This work is interdisciplinary in its design: it tackles the biological, economic and social aspects of the trade, and has worked in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone. www.zsl.org/bushmeatresearchprogramme
ZSL has had a long running involvement in great ape conservation and poverty reduction projects in Africa:
- ZSL works with the timber industry in Cameroon and Ghana and is assisting companies to manage their concessions in a ?wildlife friendly? way. From 2010 WWP plans to focus its activities and research work on great apes conservation, working with timber companies to test and apply great ape conservation guidelines in logging concessions and assisting local communities in setting up community hunting zones in the periphery of and within logging concessions in order to ensure sustainable bushmeat harvest and the preservation of protected species populations in timber production forests;
- ZSL supports the work of ICCN in Virunga NP in Eastern DRC, home of mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas and eastern chimpanzees. Since 2004 they have focused on rebuilding the capacity of ICCN and are now working with local people to develop alternative livelihoods (including through REDD) around the north of the park.
- ZSL is working with local communities to evaluate, test and implement potential bushmeat alternatives. The overall goal of this project is to support the government in its attempts to prohibit the illegal hunting, sale and consumption of apes, other primates and other threatened wildlife by working with government, national and international institutions and local communities to develop culturally and economically feasible alternatives to bushmeat, both in terms of a source of food and income, and then to implement pilot projects to test the most suitable options.
- ZSL manages the Mikongo Conservation Centre within Lopé NP. Activities include development of sustainable eco-tourism with a focus on gorilla viewing, field surveys, research and community outreach to support wildlife conservation and community development, with a particular focus on monitoring and mitigating the risks of disease transmission between great apes and humans.