BIOPAMA Success story - Léonidas, a conservation hero committed to sustainable local development

Driven by a genuine desire for change, he piloted an initiative to support the empowerment of Batwa communities who live near the Bururi Forest Reserve. For this determinant action he has just won the National Geographic / Buffett Award 2018 "Leadership for the protection of the environment".

Léonidas Nzigiyimpa, 56 years old, a forester with training on sustainable development, has been working for 20 years at the Burundian Office for Environmental Protection in the area of ​​nature conservation and management of protected areas.

 

For the last 10 years, Léonidas has been working on a complex of 5 protected areas in the southern region of Burundi. In daily life, with his collaborators and eco-guards, he organizes patrols, development and demarcation activities of protected areas, as well as environmental education sessions. "I spend a lot of time in the field meeting with the community to raise awareness of the importance of conservation and the opportunity to do income-generating activities for the community, such as livestock and ecotourism based on protection of species like Chimpanzees, or agrotourism as result of the promotion of local products, such as coffee".

 

According to him, it is a challenging work, specifically in the context of Burundi, caracterized by demographic explosion and poverty that leads more than 90% of Burundians to depend on natural resources to live, causing conflicts between conservation services and the population.

 

Driven by a genuine desire for change, he piloted an initiative to support the empowerment of Batwa communities who live near the Bururi Forest Reserve. For this determinant action he has just won the National Geographic / Buffett Award 2018 "Leadership for the protection of the environment".

 

Léonidas tells us that he involved the Batwa community in the development of this small 3300 ha reserve during one year (from March 2017 to February 2018). The group was engaged in various activities for materializing boundaries, protection of the reserve and opening of a tourist trail. A total of 53 adults was committed to these activities and each one of them received a salary. The money was divided in two shares: one half was used for community subsistence needs and the other was put in a savings account in a local bank.

 

"The initiative has benefited 28 households and 150 people and with the savings of one year a total of 12000 dollars has been used to buy 3 hectares of land. In less than 2 years we can say their living conditions have changed, families have managed to build a nearly decent house with bricks and steel sheet, and some have goats, oxen and cows, to have more manure and improve the agricultural productivity of their ground ". At present, the batwa live from their land and their house is similar to those belonging to other Burundi groups. Suddenly, they started benefiting from other activities that generate income, such as goat livestock , to obtain manure.

 

Léonidas is also recognized as a leader among his conservation colleagues and the governmental authorities of his country. After having participated in a training process promoted by the BIOPAMA programme, when he had the opportunity to explore the IMET tool for the first time, he facilitated the application of the tool to all protected areas in his country, the first initiative on this scale throughout the African continent.

 

As a coach, Leonidas has traveled around the country, passing through 14 protected areas, to collect data using the IMET tool. He says that "the coach is not supposed to give lessons, but rather to show the manager of each protected area how to use the IMET tool in order to get on the right track, collect the data without bias and see clearly the pathways that lead to good decisions. " He considers that this experience is really important because on the one hand it is possible to evaluate the situation of protected areas and on the other hand it is a managers’ capacity building process.

 

Read more on BIOPAMA webside...

 

Go back

Partners News

Launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: Central Africa commits to the restoration of...

Central African countries' commitments to landscape restoration have the potential to deliver about three times more the climate benefits of all GCF allocations to date… These Central African commitments represent 24% of global commitments and 28% of African countries' commitments under the Bonn challenges...

Re-imagine, Recreate, Restore! UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration kicks off -FAO

4 June 2021, Nairobi/Rome - Leaders in global politics, science, communities, religion and culture joined hands today to officially kick off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration - a rallying call for the protection and revival of millions of hectares of ecosystems all around the world for the benefit of people and nature.

Federal Environment Ministry supports new UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration – BMU

Today's World Environment Day sees the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly for the period 2021 to 2030. It follows the UN Decade on Biodiversity which came to an end in 2020. The goal in the coming decade is to halt the ongoing degradation of ecosystems and begin their restoration. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze will give a video message at a high-level virtual event organised by Pakistan, host of this year's World Environment Day, to mark the launch of the new UN Decade

Tough climb up for biodiversity - ITTO

Biodiversity is under immense threat. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 1 million species of plants and animals are facing extinction, many within decades, unless action is taken to tackle the drivers of biodiversity loss (IPBES 2019). Moreover, without such action, the rate of species extinction will accelerate.

New Report Shows How Fiscal Reforms Can Positively Influence Forest Conservation and Ecosystem Health - CIF

Fiscal policies with the right incentives can be a powerful tool to help governments reduce deforestation and forest degradation and promote the sustainability of forests, according to a new report from the CIF Forest Investment Program (FIP) and the World Bank, commissioned by the CIF Evaluation and Learning (E&L) Initiative.

Press release: Joint statement on principles for collaboration under the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue -UK

Following the first ministerial meeting of the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue, 24 countries have endorsed a statement committing to working together to protect the world’s precious forests while also promoting sustainable trade.

Leadership on Carbon Pricing in 2020-21

This year's Carbon Pricing Leadership Report comes as much of the world continues to grapple with the global COVID-19 crisis that has ravaged communities , overwhelmed health care systems, closed borders, and brought economies to a near halt over the past year. As future generations look back at this time, they will see this pandemic as one of humanity's greatest tragedies, but they will also see our resilience.

Energy and Climate Goals

Leaders Call for Concrete Commitments to Achieve Energy and Climate Goals – IISD

Leaders from the UN, the private sector, national and local governments, youth and other organizations have called for countries, businesses, cities, and civil society groups to put forward “Energy Compacts” to show how they will contribute to achieving the goal of clean, affordable energy for all by 2030 (SDG 7) and net-zero emissions by 2050.

degradation and desertification

GEF pledges 2 million USD to support UNCCD Parties reporting on land degradation and desertification – UNCCD

The UNCCD Secretariat and Global Mechanism provide technical advice and capacity building support in this process through a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded and UNEP (UN Environment) implemented Global Support Programme (GSP). GEF has recently approved two million USD funding to help the countries complete the next reporting cycle in 2021-2022. A new reporting platform planned for the project would ensure that a higher level of accurate assessment and analysis of land degradation trends at national and regional levels is achieved and that policy makers can make informed land management decisions.

CBFP Scientific College Meeting

Report of the last CBFP Scientific College Meeting: The Partnership´s scientific community gathers around the German Facilitator Christian Ruck

The virtual meeting of the CBFP Scientific College was held online on June 26, 2021 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. After the Co-Leader Richary Atyi welcomed all participants and introduced them to the agenda of the meeting, the floor was given to CBFP Facilitator Dr. Christian Ruck representing the German Facilitation to the partnership. The Facilitator gave a short overview of the activities the Facilitation has pursued since the last virtual meeting of the College. Please download the minutes of the meeting.

Development Dialogues

invitation to a UNDP online event on “ How to advance the climate agenda in fragile contexts ? Answers from the Central African region”

The event will put a spotlight on how to promote the climate and environment agendas in West and Central Africa region, home to the second largest tropical rainforest in the world, but facing major challenges such as poverty, inequality, food insecurity, weaknesses in governance, institutions and infrastructure.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: Long-term (1990–2019) monitoring of forest cover changes in the humid tropics

Our study suggests that reinforcing actions are needed to prevent the initial degradation that leads to forest clearance in 45% of the cases... This approach can be applied to future Landsat data (from 2020) automatically and is intended to be adapted to Sentinel-2 data (available since 2015) for TMF monitoring with higher temporal frequency and finer spatial resolution.

US, Germany, UK target Africa for increased trade at African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association conference - AFDB

Investor and trade interest in Africa remains strong despite challenges around Covid-19, senior officials from the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom said at the recently concluded annual conference of the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

logging

The Sustainable Use of Natural Resources: The Governance Challenge - IISD

Still Only One Earth: Lessons from 50 years of UN sustainable development policy. Over-exploitation of natural resources harms the health of ecosystems and the wellbeing of people. In the face of environmental crises and growing inequality, we need to act, including developing extended producer responsibility and supply chain legislation, guaranteeing green public procurement, supporting technical innovation to enhance resource circularity, and adopting decision-making processes that include and respect women, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities.

Diligence

Putting the Environment in Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence – FERN

Ensuring corporate accountability for environmental impacts in the upcoming EU directive on sustainable corporate governance. As the European Union develops its future sustainable corporate governance directive, a number of civil society organisations published a briefing that outlines why and how environmental protection must be integrated into companies’ due diligence requirements alongside respect for human rights.

building

The International Energy Agency's Net Zero Plan threatened by the 'false climate solution' of bioenergy, say scientists and NGOs – Fern

The International Energy Agency (IEA) today published a new energy scenario. It models for the first time how the world can achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5ºC. A group of environmental and social NGOs campaigning to stop the EU burning forests for energy says this is a step forward; but they also criticise the IEA for relying heavily on bioenergy to meet climate goals and for failing to halt the use of land for energy production. Bioenergy is a false climate solution that adds emissions to the atmosphere, exacerbates biodiversity loss and negatively impacts food security.

Patrick Verkooijen

GCA Chief: We Are ‘Utterly Unprepared’ for the Climate Emergency – BREITBART

The CEO of the Global Center for Adaptation (GCA) contends that “climate disasters have doubled” during the last 20 years, CNBC reported Wednesday. Patrick Verkooijen, who runs the GCA, which describes itself as a “solutions broker to accelerate, innovate and scale adaptation action for a climate-resilient world,” told CNBC the coronavirus pandemic had been a “wake-up call” for the world.

China’s tourism industry commits to strengthening its efforts in tackling wildlife trafficking - Traffic

China, 23rd April 2021: Global leaders from China’s tourism industry have pledged their commitment to tackling the illegal trade of wildlife by signing the Tourism Industry’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Convention created by the World Tourism Federation (WTA) and China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), at a dedicated event hosted by TRAFFIC’s China office.

Tiger traffic

Vietnamese consumers urged to lead an active lifestyle and only use proven medicines to curb demand for tiger products on Endangered Species’ Day

HANOI, 21 May 2021 – Today, TRAFFIC is urging consumers to adopt active lifestyles and only use proven medicines as alternatives to tiger bone glue, in a bid to reduce demand for tiger products in Vietnam.

2021 Biodiversity Day banner

International Day for Biological Diversity... Message by UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw

The pandemic has reminded us how much we depend on each other. How much we depend on nature. How much our fate depends on our relationships with nature. How much we need a good political will, combined with collective action, and sustained investment. When these come together, we can make a difference.

Fern

Unsustainable and Ineffective: Why EU Forest Biomass Standards won't stop destruction – Fern

There has been intense criticism of the European Union (EU) Renewable Energy Directive (RED) for leading to adverse impacts on forests in Europe and beyond. To tackle these concerns, the EU developed sustainability criteria that forest biomass must meet to be counted towards EU renewable energy targets (and therefore be eligible for subsidies).

High-level dialogue on desertification, land degradation and drought - UNCCD

Land is the foundation of our societies and is a cornerstone to global food security and environmental health, zero hunger, poverty eradication and affordable energy. It underpins the success of the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmen, and yet this finite resource is under existential threat. On 14 June event will be broadcast live on UN WebTV and streamed to UNCCD Facebook page 14.00-17.00 and 19.00-22:00 GMT.

image-wilson-inline

Growing ambition: the role of the Green Climate Fund in scaling up finance for climate action – GCF

On 18 May 2021, the Wilson Center organized a discussion focused on the role of the Green Climate Fund in scaling up finance for climate action.  Ambassador Mark Green, the President of the Wilson Center, opened the discussion with a call to action :  “the climate crisis is already here, and so is our opportunity to respond. The world will face huge costs in adapting to climate change, up to $500 billion per year by 2050.”  He then raised the biggest unanswered question in climate finance : why does adaptation currently attract only 20% of all climate finance?

ATIBT

Payments for Ecosystem Services: ATIBT publishes three opportunity studies of these services for forestry companies

The studies aim to assess the possibilities for remuneration of environmental and social services provided by certified sustainable forest management companies in the Congo Basin, according to the Vertdeep platform (© Venturexpert) based on the sale of positive impact certificates.