Loisaba’s Community Development Project Management Tool
In 2019, Baotree trialled a new coexistence model at Loisaba which aims to provide local communities with a mechanism to actively earn community development goals (such as the installation of predator proof bomas to keep cattle in) through carrying out conservation-based activities.
The model works by assigning conservation tasks known as ‘gigs’ to communities, such as reporting a lion sighting to assist with research and strengthening their boma to help reduce human wildlife conflict. Each of these gigs is rewarded with a conservation currency, “bao-points”, which are then exchanged for a community benefit (the request was ‘predator proof bomas’ – somewhere to keep their livestock safe from predators at night). The more important the gig for conservation, the more bao-points earned! The pilot was a great success, but was run without the technology.
“Nature conservation is about behaviour, and when we can provide dignity to individuals instead of aid – the game of conservation and community relations completely changes” – Dimitri Syrris
After developing their project management software, the Baotree team returned to Loisaba in November 2020 in order to trial it on two neighbouring communities. The software allowed Loisaba to plan community projects, track tasks and prove impact, all in one flexible platform.
In order to receive predator proof bomas (the chosen community benefit), community members needed to report endangered species sightings, human-wildlife conflicts and the removal of invasive species. This was made easy by the Baotree technology – all they had to do was register their phones and dial *724# at no charge. This would notify Loisaba’s “BaoRiders” – security rangers trained by the Baotree team on the model – to verify the task as being complete via an app. This allowed Loisaba to better monitor and evaluate what the cost of living with wildlife was for the Koija and Nanapaa communities.
The tech trial was a success, with 231 tasks reported and 176 verified over the two week period. These figures represent high engagement from both Loisaba and the community members.
“Having spent the past two weeks using Baotree’s software in partnership with our communities, it is very clear that we have underestimated just how engaged our community stakeholders want to be” – Paul Naiputari, Loisaba Community Liaison Officer
Loisaba estimates that wildlife conflict can range between 5 to 20 incidences every month, which is largely dependent on rainfall (more rainfall means more grass, which in turn means wild prey are stronger and harder to catch – so more predation incidences on livestock by predators are reported). Baotree’s software was able to capture this data digitally, with accompanying visual evidence and geo-location data. During the two week technology test, there were 25 wildlife conflicts reported. Baotree’s project management software confirmed 16 conflicts with evidence captured. More data over a longer timeframe will provide Loisaba with monitoring and evaluating capabilities to fundraise for future community projects, and allow community members to simultaneously support biodiversity and provide benefits to their communities.
We’re excited to continue working with Baotree’s project management software and to utilize the data to assist both in future fundraising efforts for community development, and to make better informed conservation decisions from beyond our boundaries.