GEF: Restoring vital landscapes for sustainable growth in Burundi

 

 

In a country where 90 percent of the population relies on natural resources for food, income, and jobs—especially the coffee sector—efforts to restore degraded landscapes are also restoring hope for a better future.

 

 

In Burundi, coffee is a way of life. Over 600,000 families—half of the country’s households—rely on the coffee sector for their livelihoods. It accounts for 90 percent of the country’s foreign exchange. Yet, severe land degradation has led to a decrease in coffee production from 40,000 tons in the mid-1990s to as low as 5,700 tons in 2003. The World Bank estimates that land degradation costs Burundi 4 percent of its GDP annually. This has deeply affected people already made vulnerable by natural disasters, pollution, and sociopolitical tensions.

 

 

Managing natural assets, together

 

 

Land and lives are being transformed by innovative approaches piloted by the $4.2 million Sustainable Coffee Landscapes Project. Financed by the Global Environment Facility and implemented by Burundi’s Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, the project has benefited from interagency collaboration on coffee certification, parks management, production of shade-grown coffee, sector regulation, research, and training. Together, agencies have empowered communities who are now changing how Burundi’s natural assets are managed.

 

 

“Communities have been totally involved in the management and preservation of the nature that surrounds them, and now understand that it is for their own benefit,” explains Leonidas Nzigiyimpa, Chief Warden of the Burundi Office for the Protection of the Environment and Recipient of the 2018 National Geographic Buffett Awards for Leadership in Conservation. “The future of Burundi rests on the preservation of its nature.”

 

 

Since 2013, the project has reached more than 18,700 beneficiaries and has placed over 4,400 hectares (ha) under sustainable land management practices. More than 9,600 households, nearly half headed by women, have adopted shade-grown coffee. This form of polyculture brings multiple wins for the environment, improves soil fertility, diversifies farm products, and boosts income and food security.

 

 

The project has also piloted a community-based agritourism program on sustainable coffee and a nascent ecotourism initiative. The Bururi Forest Reserve in Southern Burundi has hired members of the indigenous Batwa community living nearby to help protect chimpanzees and guide tourists, as well as legally harvest food and medicinal plants from the forest. With these earnings, the community has been able to save enough to purchase land, marking the first time in Burundi’s history that Batwas have been able to do so independently.

 

 

“We were enemies of the forest reserve of Bururi, but now, we are its best protectors,’’ says community member Odette Nkurikiye. “We now have jobs and have even bought land. We want to tap into the opportunities offered by our restored landscapes and stay out of poverty.”

 

Read more...

Go back

CBFP News

Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) Wildlife Conservation Capacity Development Working Group - List of Upcoming Opportunities and Training Resources

New free textbook: Conservation Biology in Sub-Saharan Africa / New IUCN MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on Protected Area Management/ New free eLearning Wildlife Conservation Course: Africa / 1st Africa Protected Areas Congress/ Pathways 2020: Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation Conference

Read more …

Forest Watch September 2019-Commission Communication opens door to regulation of products that destroy forests, but proposed Mercosur trade deal throws fuel on the Amazon fires

To read: New Commission Communication opens door to regulation of the products that destroy our forests… The proposed Mercosur deal throws fuel on the Amazon fires… NGOs ask the new European Commission to act boldly against illegal logging and forest destruction…

Read more …

UN-International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, 16 September

"For over three decades, the Montreal Protocol has done much more than shrink the ozone hole; it has shown us how environmental governance can respond to science, and how countries can come together to address a shared vulnerability. I call for that same spirit of common cause and, especially, greater leadership as we strive to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and mobilize the ambitious climate action we so urgently need at this time." UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Read more …

6th edition of the Africa Agri Forum: Confirm your registration!

The 6th edition of the Africa Agri Forum will be taking place for the second year in a row in Libreville, from 24 to 25 October to cement Gabon’s central place as an emerging hub of agriculture in the region.

Read more …

sep2d-International symposium “Plant biodiversity and sustainable development”

The international symposium is open to the entire scientific community (especially promoters of SED2D-backed projects) and actors in the management and valuing of plant biodiversity, subject to prior mandatory registration (free) and depending on the symposium’s seating capacity . Those who wish  to make a presentation must sign up for one of the thematic sessions listed below. Presentations can be either take the form of an oral presentation or a poster (A0 format) which can be presented in plenary along with a 2 min pitch

Read more …

Ministry of Environment, Water and Fisheries, Chad: Wildlife rangers of the Forest and Wildlife Guard come under attack - Seven (07) elephant carcasses found

Dozens of heavily armed poachers on horseback attacked wildlife rangers of the Forest and Fauna Guard (GFF) stationed in the Binder-Lere Wildlife reserve. Seven (07) elephant carcasses were found throughout the reserve by GFF wildlife rangers tracking the poachers. The poachers came from Cameroon.

 

Read more …

Law enforcement officials brush up on African wildlife crime investigating skills

Brazzaville-Republic of Congo, 28 July- 1st August 2019. Two multi-institutional capacity building workshops on investigations into wildlife crimes were held for law enforcement officers at the Mikhael’s Hotel.

Read more …

OCFSA and Lusaka Agreement close ranks to fight wildlife crime in Central Africa

Signing of MoU (Collaboration Agreement) OCFSA- Luska Agreement on the sidelines of two multi-institutional capacity building workshops for law enforcement officials on wildlife crime investigation held from 28 July to  01 August 2019 in Brazzaville (Congo).

Read more …

CBFP News Archive

2019

GEF Newsletter | June 2019
The Cafi Dialogues
Forest Watch April 2019
Forest Watch March 2019