To protect the Bururi Forest Nature Reserve, a consortium of organizations came together to raise awareness and provide income generating activities to the local community.
Bururi Forest Nature Reserve is a protected area of 3,300 ha. It has significant socio-economic and environmental benefits for riparian communities. It provides a range of ecosystem services, including domestic and irrigation water for the Rumonge oil palm plantation and water for ttwo main hydroelectric dams, Siguvyaye and Jiji-Murembwe under construction. This reserve also protects local communities along the shoreline of Lake Tanganyika, which is a fish breeding area, from erosion and pollution.
In terms of biodiversity, the forest is home to animals like the Chimpanzee and the Rwenzori Batis, a bird species endemic to the Albertine Rift.
Despite these ecosystem services, Bururi Forest is threatened by deforestation, as humans harvest the word for firewood and construction materials and the nearby town of Bururi encroaches on the forest.
In order to address these threats, three organizations have come together: Burundian Association for Nature protection (ABN), a local environmental NGO and Birdlife partner in Burundi focusing on nature conservation and biodiversity protection, especially for birds, through improving livelihood of local community; Burundian Association for Protection of Natural Resources (APRN), a local environmental NGO that contributes to the protection of natural resources through active participation of all sectors of the population; and Burundian Civil Society Forum for the Nile Basin (FCBN), a local environmental NGO that aims to manage the natural resources of the Burundian Nile Basin (BNB) and fight against poverty.
Main activities implemented by the consortium of organizations through this project include raising awareness about the need to protect the forest, providing income generating activities like bee keeping and providing firewood improved stoves to reduce the need to harvest wood from the forest.
Under the facilitation of ABN, the Forest management authority and the local community came up with an agreement to protect the Bururi Forest Nature Reserve.
This success story was provided by Charles Rugerinyange and Alexis Nikiza, DG APRN.