Small Livestock to Support Economy and Conservation
In the second half of the 20th century, more and more conflicts between local people and park authorities emerged in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Being confronted with local communities that fought back and NGOs that focused on human rights and justice, conservation agencies gradually started to rethink the fortress approach. They realized that control alone was not sufficient and started looking for ways to integrate human development into conservation.
|Source||Partners For Conservation|
In the second half of the 20th century, more and more conflicts between local people and park authorities emerged in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Being confronted with local communities that fought back and NGOs that focused on human rights and justice, conservation agencies gradually started to rethink the fortress approach. They realized that control alone was not sufficient and started looking for ways to integrate human development into conservation. In Rwanda, the restructuring of conservation in Rwanda initiated a community-based conservation as a tool to promote parks-communities partnership to increase community ownership and support for the park alongside reducing human pressures on park resources.
This calls for an enhanced collaboration between park management and park‐adjacent communities, involving the establishment of strategic partnerships aimed at improving livelihoods, promoting sustainable resource use, and directly linking park benefits to conservation. Situated in northern Rwanda on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, the Volcanoes National Park (VNP) is world famous as the home of a globally‐important population of the endangered Mountain gorilla, as well as numerous of other plant and animal species that are endemic to the Albertine Rift region. In recognition of the park’s importance, VNP was added to the International Network of Biosphere Reserves under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme in 1983. The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Volcanoes Volcanic mountains of Central Africa within three National Parks: Mgahinga in South-west of Uganda, Volcanoes in north west Rwanda, and Virunga in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The other is found in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. According to the most recent census mountain gorillas stands at an estimated 880 individuals: 480 in the Virunga Massif and 400 in Bwindi (based on 2010 gorilla census) Despite their recent population growth, the mountain gorilla remains threatened. As of 2008, mountain gorillas were listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red list and are dependent on conservation efforts to survive. (UCN Red list, 2008).
Adjacent communities to the parks are the most-poor communities in the country mainly due to that they had to loose their land and other source of income for conservation. These communities include a community of Historically Marginalised People. Historically Marginalised People are forest-dwelling inhabitants of Rwanda which; were evicted from the forest during the creation of the national parks, the HMP are among the poorest and most vulnerable communities in a poverty-stricken area. According the Volcanoes National Park 2012-2021 management plan, besides being a zone where there’s no buffer zone, this zone represents a high density estimated at 600 people per km2 mainly skewed towards (younger age group) with insufficient land (estimated at no more than 0.2 to 0.8 ha of land) where agricultural constitutes the primary livelihood of all communities. The 2012-2021 Volcanoes National Park management plan calls for a continuation of both community conservation and awareness activities and the monitoring of human impacts as will the implementation of appropriate management measures to mitigate these impacts. Partners For Conservation has joined the government of Rwanda and its local and international partners in this battle for the preservation of the Rwandan biodiversity. At partners For Conservation we believe that local communities hold a key role for the sustainability of this park and that addressing their poverty remains the shortcut for their full involvement. To do so, Partners For Conservation uses various approaches from education, awareness and support of socio-economic activities. While other activities started early in the beginning of 2015, our programme to support socio-economic activities started towards the end of the year mainly due to lack of expected funds.
In fact, we waited until December16; 2016, to distribute the 1st lot of small livestock. As explained by Partners For Conservation’ Executive Director, this programme will see 240 households from Musanze, Nyange, Kinigi and Shingiro sectors of Musanze district supported. After helping beneficiaries to build hutches, on this day, 40 households received rabbits (California, improved rabbits). Rabbits were selected as livestock to be promoted because it’s easy to manage (doesn’t require much time for feeding and they need just a small cage). Besides that, rabbits have a market in the area and can also help the family improve the diet. Emmanuel BUGINGO ED Partners For Conservation
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