2019- 2020 Anti-Encroachment Campaign around Volcanoes National Park

CONTEXT/BACKGROUND:





Fig 1: Map of Rwanda showing the targeted areas where ADEC will carry out and implement its conservation projects.










Today anti-poaching measures and conservation issues are at the top of Rwandan governmental agendas. In 2003, surrounding this agenda, Rwanda published its National Strategy and Action Plan for the Conservation of Biodiversity.  In 2009, Rwanda published its tourism policy. Within the framework of Vision 2020, Rwanda has developed the SMART Rwanda Master Plan 2015 – 2020. This plan was approved by the cabinet on November 3, 2015. According to this framework, Rwanda intends to develop the necessary infrastructure and required skills in order to transform the countryfrom a subsistence, agricultural-based economy to a service and knowledge-based economy by 2020. Parallel to this agenda, Rwanda issued its cultural heritage policy in 2015. The main objectives addressed in this document is to raise awareness about the deteriorating conditions of cultural assets and the ill management they are subject to. The main challenge includes the encroachment of people onto protected lands while damaging the country’s delicate, cultural and natural richness. On the same agenda, in 2016, Rwanda compiled its five- year strategic plan for the development of cultural tourism from 2017 – 2022. As set forth by the specifications of this compilation, the preservation, and management of cultural assets and sites will serve as a springboard for the development and improvement of ecotourism throughout the country. Furthermore, this will contribute to the diversification of existing tourism practices. Presently, poaching activities do not constitute a major threat to the national parks. Around Volcanos National Park, there are about 20 cooperatives of former poachers regrouped into the associations Amizero. There are over 500 people in this association. However, encroachment issues and challenges have not been reported or properly studied and outlined around Volcanoes National Park. 



Figure 2: Adult female elephant peacefully walking across one of Rwanda’s National Parks, where ADEC will focus its efforts.

CHALLENGES:

Rwanda has issued and managed to set up frameworks and legislations that intend to further tourism and boost socio-economic situations for its citizens. Nonetheless, capacities, competencies, and skills are reported to be insufficiently developed. Both physical and soft infrastructures lack needed momentum putting the dynamics of tourism to the level of current and affordable feasibilities. Although Rwanda’s tourism administration has initiated the sharing of tourism revenues since 2005 while elaborating on various guidance documents for tourism development, the tourism development requirements remain insufficiently developed. The former poachers, now regrouped into associations and cooperatives, lack the required knowledge and skill-sets surrounding conservation initiatives, ecotourism activities and socio-economic practices for sustainable outcomes.This is the reason why ADEC has envisioned a project of anti-encroachment in order to boost both ecotourism and tourism activities in the vicinity of Volcanoes National Park. This project will be extended to other National Parks of Rwanda as well.



Figure 3: Local communities, surrounding core areas around the Virunga National Park, are needed in order to continue to fight for conservation in Rwanda.  ADEC’s conservation plan surrounds protecting and ensuring the future of Rwanda’s natural AND cultural heritage.


MAIN PROJECT OBJECTIVE:

The main objective of this project is to equip at least 600 ex-poachers with necessary skills to raise awareness among local communities on issues of conservation and ecotourism potential and cost-effectiveness.


SPECIFIC PROJECT OBJECTIVES:

⦁    To partner and raise necessary funds for awareness of anti-encroachment activities around Volcanoes National Park
⦁    To equip ex-poachers and local communities with skills so that they can combat the consequences of poor, natural resourcemanagement
⦁    To educatelocal communities with knowledge surrounding the consequences of over-exploiting and harvesting existing resources
⦁    To incorporate alternative sources of socio-economic development into communities surrounding Rwandan National Parks
⦁    To lead campaigns on anti-encroachment issues around Volcanoes National Park



 Figure 4: ADEC’s ultimate goal is to ensure the survival of endangered species and habitats in Rwanda so that animals, like this endangered, infant mountain gorilla, will have a peaceful and safe future.

APPROACHES AND METHODS:

Through a partnership with GlobalGiving, ADEC will resort to crowdfunding internationally, across the globe. Through the Global Giving Accelerator, ADEC will elaborate sound and opportune projects eligible in the framework of GlobalGiving Vetting. As the qualified partner becomes a permanent member of Global Giving, ADEC will have the opportunity of membership to further and extend this project. Through crowdfunding across the globe, ADEC will be able raise the necessary funding to finance the trainings, events and practices in the framework of this agenda. It will recruit competent personnel on apermanent and temporary basis. Through this initiative and the proper resources, ADEC will surround itself with a strong membership of Rwandan collaborators, local community members and global supporters as it becomes a recognized, conservation organization, not only within Rwanda, but internationally as well.

Education is the key to development, no matter what the initiative, obstacle or goal is. ADEC will use educational strategies to implement its conservation policies. Local communities will learn about sustainable practices, current threats to conservation efforts, ecotourism programs and healthy living, amongst other initiatives. Through these educational projects, ADEC will help communities develop and implement various, socio-economic sustainable practices which will allow them to take active measures in conserving their natural heritage while maintaining cultural pride.


Fugure 5: ADEC prides itself by being a Rwanda NGO, supported by the Rwandan Government, developed and run by Rwandans and working closely with local communities around Rwanda’s National Parks. ADEC works with all local individuals, no matter what their background, education or economic status is. The organization also focuses on working with ex-poachers.

SUSTAINABILITY OF THE PROJECT:

The sustainability of this project is rooted first in the firm determination of the Director to contribute, by all means, to conservation measures through community ecotourism development. Second, the project plans on incorporating the support of many actors at national and international levels to uphold actions in harmony with sustainable goals (SDGs). Lastly, certain activities of ADEC members will generate income benefiting local communities. These include various cultural activities, educational projects, ecotourism development and so forth.

ADEC’saimis to protect all of Rwandan’swildlife, includingthis golden monkey.

                                                                                                                                                                  


Mr. John NDAYAMBAJE

He is the Managing Director of ADEC. He is an expert in mountain gorilla conservation, behavior and ecology. He has experience of animal protection and research in the Volcanoes National Park.  He was head ranger and Field Data Coordinator in DFGFI (The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Internationa) where he studied gorilla behavior while protecting them. John Ndayambaje also participated in mountain gorilla census research in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for almost 10 years.

“I spent many years working with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International as a coordinator, organizing and leading their rangers and anti-poaching patrols. Working for the Fossey Fund, I also took part in many scientific research activities, such as observing gorilla behavior while ensuring their protection.  Through my years working with the Fossey Fund, I made many scientific observations while taking a major role in gorilla conservation as a whole. I even observed a gorilla destroying a poacher’s snare.  As a Rwandan National I believe in protecting all of the animals and the environment of my beautiful country. However, this can’t be done alone. Everyone must get involved in order to ensure that these animals are protected while working with local communities throughout my country. There has to be a balance so that Rwandans can thrive as well through such activities as education, research and health projects. This is why I decided, as a Rwandan, to develop and create my own wildlife conservation organization. ADEC was established in order to protect Rwanda’s natural environment and its unique wildlife while creating and ensuring a bright future for Rwanda’s people and country as a whole.” -Mr. John NDAYAMBAJE, Managing Director and Founder of ADEC



Figure 6: John Ndayambaje observed himself Gorillas destroying Snares in Volcanoes National Park

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Mr. Jean Baptiste Mutuyimana,

He is ADEC’s Finance & Operations Manager. He is an expert in Financial Administration.  Jean Baptiste worked as a community development planner and financial manager. He has extensive experience in community development because he has worked with community developmental organizations for over 20 years.

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