Engaging and Empowering Communities for Sustainable Wildlife Management and Biodiversity Conservation of Nyungwe National Park (NNP), Rwanda

Jeannette Batamuliza

Other projects

8 Sep 2016

Influence of Food Availability on the Distribution of the Eastern Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in Nyungwe Forest National Park (NNP), Rwanda

13 Jul 2018

Promoting Sustainable Conservation of the Eastern Chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda through Education and Raising Community Awareness

15 Jul 2020

Promoting Conservation of the Eastern Chimpanzees of Nyungwe National Park through Creating Income Generating Activities (IGAs) to its Surrounding Communities

Engaging local communities has been recognized as a key approach to tackling the illegal wildlife related activities. Poaching and the illegal tree cutting have been known to directly or indirectly devastate the populations of iconic species such as the Eastern chimpanzees and other primate species as well as the other less known wildlife. Wildlife management is important to balance both the needs of people as well as the needs of wildlife and is a key component in efforts to ensure the conservation, sustainable use and access and management of associated benefits and services derived from biodiversity. Many wildlife species including the chimpanzees are under threat and listed as endangered on the IUCN Redlist. The root cause is anthropogenic activities due to the lack of alternatives, poor knowledge of surrounding communities and lack of awareness. This is why this project was proposed with the aim of engaging and empowering the communities for the sustainable wildlife management and biodiversity conservation of Nyungwe National Park by improving its surrounding community’s livelihoods through creating the Income Generating Activities (IGAs) such as poultry rearing and making environmentally friendly cook-stoves for selling.

Nyungwe National Park. © Jeannette Batamuliza.

Nyungwe National Park. © Jeannette Batamuliza.

The project also aims at raising the level of understanding, ownership and awareness for the communities living in Nkungu and Nyakabuye sectors in Rusizi district surrounding Cyamudongo forest fragment of Nyungwe National Park through conducting different awareness raising campaigns, youth competitions, training sessions for local authorities, religious leaders, community representatives, science teachers, students’ representatives and environmental journalists. Not only this, but the project also intends to make the kitchen gardens for the project beneficiaries to fight against malnutrition and improve their health status. We are optimistic that this project will bring in a win-win solution on communities wellbeing and the sustainable conservation of the park as it will reduce the communities dependency on the forest resources, sustainable management and conservation of the park, increase in abundance of wildlife; their habitat and food, joint wildlife conservation and management, awareness raising and understanding and the level of ownership on the necessity of wildlife conservation and biodiversity conservation in general, joint control and law enforcement as well.

Project Updates