Authored by Brad Czerniak

This project contributed to poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation by training communities around the Malagarazi Wetland complex in Burundi on sustainable fisheries and agriculture pratices. Some development activities, such as good fishing practices, can be undertaken without a negative impact. However, many fishermen in the region use inappropriate equipment such as mosquito nets and toxic products. Such practices kill all of the young fish, eventually leading to widespread decline in fish stocks. The toxic products also kill off fish and other small mammals within the ecosystem. This project trained local fishermen on alternative practices. This project also aimed to provide the local community with alternatives to agriculture in wetlands through the distribution of goats to provide meat and manure used to fertilize soils. This both protects wetland acres and contributes to food security and the improvement of health in local populations by improving the fertility of the soil. In sum, this project taught different well-targeted groups such as local administrations, primary school pupils, fishermen and members of the local community about sustainable conservation of biodiversity in Malagarazi Wetlands. This has led to raised awareness about issues related to the environment and to the protection of wetlands. This contributes to capacity building for lasting biodiversity conservation in the protected area.