Ureca nature center
Now entering its second year of operation, the Ureca Nature Center (UNC) provides a unique location for joining alternative livelihoods with wildlife conservation. Collaboratively managed by the people of the Ureca Village and BBPP, the UNC has been become the hub of activity in the village.
It serves as a welcome and information center, the retail store for the Bioko Artisans Collective, a café which offers drinks and local food items for sale, and as a gathering place for visitors and locals to interact with one another.
In addition, the UNC has become essential for facilitating activities for BBPP’s research camps on the southern beaches. UNGE students and professors, INDEFOR-AP Ecoguards, professional experts, and research instructors/trainers frequently utilize the space.
current activities at the UNC:
- Bioko Artisan Collective - The center functions as a classroom, office, display for the members of the collective. Design and merchandising courses are hosted at the center by visiting students and professionals on a regular basis. Every member of the collective is given a display location within the UNC where all handicrafts are available for purchase.
- Ecotourism Program - The program enables a wider audience to enjoy the experience of Drexel/UNGE's remote research field camps and learn about BBPP's research and conservation work. These comfortable overnight trips aided by local guides, porters, cooks, and camp attendants, give visitors the opportunity to learn about marine turtle ecology, Bioko's diurnal monkeys, and visitor responsibility.
- Eco-Guard Vigilance Point - The UNC has become one of three recently developed vigilance points in the GCSR. Created and maintained by INDEFOR-AP, eco-guards have been successful in monitoring and recording information on hunting pressures and development impacts in and around Ureca. The increased conservation presence has had success in dissuading poachers and hunters, as well as demonstrating to visitors the commitment of the local community to sustainable environmental protection.
All photos seen above are credited to National Geographic Photographers Tim Laman, Ian Nichols, Joel Sartore, and Christian Ziegler as well as numerous members of BBPP (staff, students, and volunteers).