INTRODUCTION | PDF
This report is devoted to the activities carried out in the Kalonge Forest Reserve. Located in the territory of Beni in the Masiki-Kalonge group, Bashu chiefdom in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Kalonge Forest Reserve is a forest block traditionally belonging to the Masiki-Kalonge group. Surrounded by fields of food crops, it is almost the only more or less natural forest in the vicinity of large cities, thus playing an important role in regulating the microclimate.
Since 2019, the Congo Biotropical Institute (CBI), accompanied by its partners, has launched a series of activities in the field of conservation and protection of wild biodiversity, but also in the improvement of social and economic conditions of local populations living around the reserve. These actions were carried out within the framework of the project of Restoration and conservation of the Forest Reserve of Kalonge.
The actions carried out in the Kalonge forest reserve during these three years have positively impacted the life of the local community members, their perception towards nature, they have also impacted the life of the wildlife which thanks to the reforestation activities can now have a rebuilt natural dwelling where they can flourish, but also food available in their living environment
ACHIEVEMENTS AND THEIR IMPACTS: The specific achievements and their impacts both for biodiversity and for the riparian populations of the Kalonge Forest Reserve over a period from 2019 to 2022 are
A). Reforestation (reforestation) :Approximately 13,000 new trees have been planted in deforested areas of the reserve. Forest trees, fruit trees (Myrianthes, Guava trees, Sloes) and medicinal plants (Croton megalocarpus, Artemisia).
This was done in order to:
- Fight against global warming,
- Restore a natural habitat for the wildlife that lives in the reserve,
- Making food available for wildlife;
- To make available medicinal plants necessary for the improvement of human health of local populations. Since some of the plant species planted are reputed to have therapeutic virtues.
B). The rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife.
Within the framework of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, we rescued several wild animal species and reintroduced them into their natural habitat at the Kalonge Forest Reserve. The following animals were recovered from poachers:
- Two female baboons (monkeys),
- Seven cercopithecines (monkeys),
- A baby chimpanzee (monkey),
- Eighteen forest turtles,
- A viper (snake),
- Twenty-five grey parrots (birds).
Two female baboons (monkeys), Seven cercopithecines (monkeys), One baby chimpanzee (monkey), Eighteen forest turtles, One viper (snake), Twenty-five grey parrots (birds).
C). Support for members of the local population
In order to promote participatory conservation involving local communities in nature conservation actions while intervening in the sustainable use of natural/forest resources, it is imperative to put in place programs that support alternatives/substitutions to forest products and support development.
It is within this framework that, after having offered seeds of vegetable plants, cereals, medicinal plants (Artemisia annua) and others, we also offered small livestock. In addition, we supported orphaned students whose parents had been killed in the massacres of civilians in Beni territory (North Kivu).
- The impact of these actions for the local population was the following:
- More than thirty households benefited from seeds of vegetables, legumes, cereals, medicinal plants and others.
- Ninety households each benefited from a pair of small livestock (rabbits or guinea pigs), rearing cages and health monitoring.
- Eleven orphans from Musienene Primary School were taken care of (school equipment, school fees).
These actions have positively intervened in the fight against malnutrition in the families living in the Kalonge forest reserve, against the dependence of the local populations on wild medicinal plants while promoting the intellectual and social development within the local community.
These programs to support the local population have assisted more than 121 households representing more than 500 people who are indirect beneficiaries.
- The impact of these activities on wildlife and the reserve were as follows:
- There has been a reduction in hunting activities (discouraging poaching): a reduction in the pressure exerted by the local population on wildlife.
- There has been a reduction in encroachment by the local population on the conservation area: a reduction in the pressure exerted by the local population on the wildlife inhabitant.
- Promote local development through support for student education.
- Rebuild habitat and make food available (fruit trees) for wildlife living in the reserve.
D). Working with local people
In order to involve local community members in the activities, we hire some of them as local laborers. We select women without financial resources, and also with young mothers (single mothers). We pay them either daily or monthly depending on the case in order to offer them a means of survival and to provide for their children. Thus, in the implementation of the activities :
- More than 670 people from different households worked in our field activities as local laborers, they were paid daily.
- More than 40 girl-mothers (single mothers) were hired and they were paid monthly.
More than 670 people from different households worked in our field activities as local laborers, they were paid daily. More than 40 girl-mothers (single mothers) were hired and they were paid monthly.
F). Environmental education
Every year, we conduct awareness sessions on the benefits of protecting nature, showing the role of the tree in the survival of humanity. Students visit the Kalonge Forest Reserve for environmental education, internship and research.
We are trying to prepare and put in place a new generation committed to the issue of environmental protection so that they will be ready to take over when the time comes.
F). Trials on agroforestry
After conducting an agroforestry trial with potatoes last year (2021), this year we conducted trials with beans.
The goal is to show local populations that they can cultivate and exploit their land while intervening in the environmental protection by offering a shelter for the wild fauna and by fighting against the global warming. It is within the framework of the rational and sustainable use of natural resources.
This activity attracts more and more the infatuation of the local population, the women farmers are very interested and ready to launch themselves in the exploitation of this new approach.
G). Reducing human-wildlife conflict
Historically, the question has never been adequately answered with regard to the conflicts of cohabitation between wildlife and farmers living in conservation areas.
Farmers (local riparian communities) with cultivated fields around protected areas complain about the overflow of wild animals that often come to feed in their fields.
Indeed, during certain periods of the year, there may be a decrease in fruits and other food products within the forest. And in order to feed, the animals are often forced to forage in the fields of local people around the conservation areas. This has always created conflicts, including trapping by local populations in and around their fields, each claiming that the crop fields are their private property since they are located outside the conservation zones.
This is why, after two years of testing with the Congo Biotropical InstituteIn order to alleviate the problem of wild animals spilling over into the fields of local communities, the Congo Biotropical Institute is developing areas within the Kalonge forest reserve where it is planting fruit trees, banana trees, potatoes and cereals to feed the wild animals in the reserve. The goal is to make rural products available and accessible within the reserve, and thus prevent wild animals from seeking their food in the fields of local populations.
What we are doing is adapting the sowing period so that flowering and/or fruiting coincides with the shortage of fruits and other grains in the forest/conservation area. This could greatly reduce wildlife encroachment and damage to riparian fields.
Although this technique has been tested in a small forest reserve (Kalonge), it can be adapted to a very large forest area by increasing the number of “wilderness areas” within a protected area. Ces “champs sauvages” maintiendraient les animaux sauvages à l’intérieur des zones de conservation, limitant ainsi les dommages aux cultures des personnes vivant à proximité des zones protégées.
This is an avenue that should be pursued by all organizations involved in the protection and conservation of wild biodiversity in protected areas.
ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT IN 2022
The activities completed in 2022 are presented in the table below.
|Period/2022||Summaries of activities completed or in progress.|
|From February to March||▪ Preparation of the land and purchase of materials|
▪ Transplanting young plants.
▪ Arrangement of flower beds.
▪ Working with women and girl-mothers.
▪ Weeding of old trees.
▪ Development of spaces for wild fields.
|April||▪ Monitoring and visiting the girl-mothers who benefit from the project.|
▪ Putting the seeds in bags.
▪ Working with women and girl-mothers.
▪ Weeding of old trees.
▪ Collective watering of young plants.
|May||▪ Maintenance and replacement of poor or dry seedlings with those that are still young.|
▪ Cutting of supports and Staking.
▪ Monitoring and verification of clandestine trails within the reserve.
▪ Meeting and exchange with the customary chief of Masiki-Kalonge.
▪ Weeding of old trees.
▪ Maintenance of new seedlings.
▪ Outreach to local residents (school children, students and pupils). So newcomers about the importance of community conservation.
▪ Anti-poaching and trespassing campaign in the reserve.
▪ Rehabilitation of the house on the site
▪ Weeding of old trees.
▪ Supervision of environmentalist student interns from the official Ruwenzori/Bembo University.
▪ Try your hand at agroforestry
|July||▪ Transplanting and checking spaces where seedlings had not grown.|
▪ Germinator maintenance.
▪ Supervision of students through work done on the reserve in general.
▪ Control and monitoring of the work of the girl mothers.
▪ Descent and registration of small livestock (guinea pig) recipients.
|August||▪ Distribution of guinea pigs to local community members bordering the reserve.|
▪ Tracking the work done by the daughter-mothers.
▪ General surveillance of all corners of the reserve.
▪ Weeding of old trees.
|September||▪ Monitoring of work in progress by the daughter-mothers.|
▪ Visit and presentation of condolences to one of our daughter-mothers having been tried by death. Her son had been hit by a motorcyclist.
▪ Training local CBI staff on how to use the, cameras, GPS and compass.
▪ Follow-up and preparation of daughter-mothers’ work for the next stage.
|October||▪ Meeting with the traditional chief of the Masiki-Kalonge grouping.|
▪ Weeding of old trees.
FORECAST OF ACTIVITIES TO BE CARRIED OUT IN 2023
For the coming year, 2023, a long list of activities is on the agenda both in the framework of nature conservation, socio-economic and health development, but also a particular topic relating to the launch of the official creation of the Forest Concession of the Local Communities of Masiki-Kalonge.
We plan to implement the following actions:
- Continue reforestation activities with forest trees and maintenance of trees already planted.
- Resumption of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation activities.
- Launch of the fourth phase of support to the local population by offering small livestock and supporting students in terms of school kits and school fees.
- Trial of agroforestry extended to local community members.
- Officially launch the process of creating the Masiki-Kalonge Local Community Forestry Concession (CFCL Masiki-Kalonge).
The process of setting up the Masiki-Kalonge CFCL will be subdivided into several phases, including the official meeting with the various families who have contributed to the pooling of their land, the participatory mapping and marking of boundaries, the wildlife and plant inventory, and zoning.
The purpose of the official creation of the Masiki-Kalonge CFCL is to want to perpetuate the achievements in order to be able to offer a permanent habitat to the diversity of wildlife living in the reserve and to maintain permanently the existence of this forest reserve.
BRIEF PRESENTATION OF CONGO BIOTROPICAL INSTITUTE
Congo Biotropical Institute is a nature conservation organization. The organization advocates a particular approach based on improving local traditional knowledge and practices in nature conservation. Adapt this knowledge to environmental challenges and issues by building the capacity of local populations – especially youth – through participation in scientific research and practical training. This, in order to better know to better protect the local tropical ecosystems. To allow local communities (indigenous peoples) to benefit from natural forest resources while intervening in the protection of biodiversity and fighting against global warming.
Par notre approche et la mise en œuvre de notre mission et de nos objectifs, nos actions nous permettent de :
a). Promote alternative solutions to forest products.
Being aware that community rainforests are a source of survival products for the local populations living in or around them, building materials, medical and food products but also economic resources: it is difficult to conserve these forests in an intact and sustainable way without making available and accessible alternatives to the forest products on which local communities and/or indigenous peoples depend.
b). Scientific research and traditional knowledge
Combine the results of scientific research with traditional customary knowledge in order to create and propose appropriate solutions or alternatives that result in tangible actions. Here, the goal is to better understand in order to better protect tropical ecosystems and to better act by combining scientific knowledge and vernacular knowledge.
c). Promote sustainable agriculture and fight against deforestation
The socio-economic challenge is one of the multiple obstacles to be taken into account in the community conservation system by local communities living in or around the tropical forests of Congo.
While limiting repetitive and devastating deforestation, perennial agriculture (and/or agroforestry) contributes to the improvement of the socio-economic situation of local populations. Sustainable agriculture also contributes to the fight against global warming by maintaining forests.
d). Working locally with children and youth
The aim is to inculcate rational values in children and youth – through awareness in schools and youth associations. The aim is to prepare them to become more involved in nature conservation and the fight against global warming.
Within the framework of financial support, Congo Biotropical Institute intervenes in the search for scholarships for young people who wish to get involved in schools related to: forestry, agroforestry, ecology and the environment. It is a way to train the next generations of Africans who will take over in the years to come. Indeed, today it is necessary to fight more effectively against forest degradation, while intervening in the socio-economic and health well-being of African populations.
Some pictures of the activities
Distribution of small livestock to members of the local population of Kalonge.
On these pictures, you can see some beneficiaries of the guinea pigs, they are all from different villages located around the Kalonge forest reserve.
In the photos below, you will see the girl-mothers and women working as local laborers in tree weeding activities at the Kalonge Forest Reserve.
Some weeding actions
The pictures below show some of the actions of weeding and care of the trees
The following pictures show some areas already cleared and where we are testing regeneration without weeding.
The goal is to see how the trees will behave in the bush and how they will evolve with other plants around them. This will allow us to decide to stop weeding trees in some valleys within the Kalonge Forest Reserve.
Finally, to provide solutions in the process of resolving conflicts between humans and wild animals, we are trying to set up small fields inside the Kalonge forest reserve. You can see it on these pictures:
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