The Great Primate Handshake!
In August, the Green Belt Movement (GBM) hosted a team of eleven volunteer photographers, filmmakers, graphic designers and media creators from the Great Primate Handshake. Primate Handshake raises awareness on primate sanctuaries and conservation programmes through the production of video, web and media content. They also run expeditions with local conservation organisations to identify ways in which Primate Handshake can support them – especially through the use of digital media.
In order to assist GBM with the documentation of its conservation efforts within the Aberdare and Mount Kenya ecosystems, the Primate Handshake volunteers visited four forest rehabilitation sites: Tumu Tumu Hills, Gakanga, Gikamba and Kabendera. The sites are part of a GBM tree planting project funded by Size of Wales, which supports communities who live near the Mount Kenya forest ecosystem to restore degraded forest areas and manage their resources sustainably. The project helps the communities to see that through tree planting they can address the environmental challenges they may be facing, such as a lack of clean drinking water. Through Community Empowerment and Education (CEE) workshops, the project also educates the communities about the linkages between the environment, poverty and democracy.
The volunteers interviewed key staff from GBM working in the project including Lydia Gathia, senior green volunteer for the project, and Dionisio Ndegwa, project officer for the Mount Kenya region. Through these interviews and site visits, Primate Handshake was able to find out more about GBM’s tree planting for watersheds and water harvesting work. They also got a chance to experience GBM’s hospitality as the volunteers camped at the Arahuka tree nursery in the Kieni Constituency, near Mount Kenya.
GBM is excited to take a look at the footage and photos that the Primate Handshake volunteers collected on their trip. We will share it with you all as soon as we can!