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Community / Land projects / Community-based forested landscape management in the Grand Kivu and Lake Tele-Tumba

Community-based forested landscape management in the Grand Kivu and Lake Tele-Tumba


09/21 - 12/26


This project is part of


To scale up and improve forest landscapes through community-based natural resources management in targeted trans-boundary landscapes.


Note: Disbursement data provided is cumulative and covers disbursement made by the project Agency.

Target Groups

The project is designed to strengthen on-going efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in the greater Congo Basin region to conserve globally significant biodiversity within forest landscapes and sustainably manage a big tropical peatland found within the country, and extending into neighbouring countries.Livelihood options are limited in rural landscapes on the DRC generally. In the project sites, livelihoods depend mainly on agriculture (small-scale subsistence of food crops and animal keeping), the harvesting and in some cases sale of Non-timber forest products (NTFP) (which include forest nuts, medicinal plants, mushrooms, edible caterpillars, etc; and rarely artisanal mining. The project will, however, deliver tangible economic benefits to local communities within target areas. These will be related to the benefits which will be generated from 6000 farmers engaged in climate smart production; 1000 climat smart projects (agroforestry, animal production, transformation, NTFP exploitation, etc); and 125 climate smart production and land use practices with socioeconomic impacts on IPLC. The project will contribute to assisting the local communities to enhance income from alternative livelihoods improvements, non-destructive collection of NTFPs, value addition, and other forms of alternative livelihood practices (Output 3.1.1). Another key livelihood opportunity that will be supported by the project will be the potential of sustaining ecosystem services, and benefiting financially from the initiatives, as well as sharing carbon finance for the local communities and helping them in harnessing such resources (Output 3.1.2). The project will thus contribute to increase local communities’ income in the long-term including income from sustainable agriculture through the creation of agricultural products collect, transport, processing and trading and develop their partnership with private agricultural companies, which could commercialize their processed production. The socioeconomic benefits will also be achieved at systemic level through developing and implementing land use management plans, improving the legal and policy framework, and improving environmental management within project area to help maintain existing livelihoods. The project will strengthen resource use governance at the landscape level by developing and implementing the landuse panning to benefit biodiversity conservation and nature protection, while safeguarding the natural resource based to support local and national development. It will work with national and sub-national level stakeholders to engage economic sectors, and negotiate the application of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use measures, and bring about necessary policy change. In line with the strengthening of resource use governance, the project will enhance the knowledge and understanding of the role of ecological processes and the services that biodiversity provides in benefit of local development. The related indicator to monitor progress in the efforts towards the strengthening of capacities will also be a global indictor: “Number of institutional staff members having strengthened capacities with regard to in-situ conservation and sustainable use of peatlands, forest and biodiversity (30% women)”. The project will engage with relevant sector ministries (e.g. agriculture, forestry, nature protection, pubic administration, etc.) and the private sector, in discussions and negotiations, where biodiversity and ecosystem conservation will be presented as an essential part of development planning, introducing a long term and sustainable development vision. In this respect, the project will promote the negotiation of trade-offs between conservation and development partners, with the aim to enhance environmental considerations within development planning; and will provide guidance and information to the government on the mitigation hierarchy, which can be applied when negotiating with large-scale investment projects. This will be monitored using another global indicator: “Strengthened policy, regulatory and strategic frameworks at provincial level support in-situ conservation and sustainable use of peatlands and forests, as indicated by legislations on indigenous people and local community land tenure and resources user rights”. The project will promote a multi-sector and transboundary landscape governance structure enhancing the negotiating capacity of local stakeholders, such as community members living in and around protected areas, hence building their knowledge and capacity to defend their rights to a safe environment and strengthening their ability to monitor potential violations on protected areas. Communities will be able to participate actively in decision making regarding land use planning, and safeguard their environment and their livelihood base. This wi be assessed with an indicator in Outcome 4.2: “Strengthened transboundary cooperation leads to more effective approaches for the conservation and sustainable use of peatlands and forest landscapes, including improved control and management of threats from IWT”.The project would promote sustainable forest management in the forests and peatlands of the project locations for biodiversity conservation, mitigation of climate change and securing forest ecosystem services i.e. provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services. This project will build on the communities’ potential for sustainable forest management through civil society organizations and community organizations by developing their capacities on key aspects relevant for the sustainable management of forests and peatlands. This organization and capacity-building will improve awareness on local environmental challenges, mobilization and organization skills for co-managing local natural resources, management effectiveness to ensure the sustainable use of local resources, and economic incentives to effectively manage or participate in SFM, biodiversity conservation and mitigation of climate change. The project will improve forest and peatland biodiversity resources by decreasing anthropogenic pressures, controlling forest fires, enhancing conservation measures and creating additional resources through afforestation, reforestation and rehabilitation. It will contribute to assisting the local communities to enhance income from alternative livelihoods improvements, non-destructive collection of NTFPs, value addition, and other forms of alternative livelihood practices (Output 3.1.1). Another key livelihood opportunity that will be supported by the project will be the potential of sustaining ecosystem services, and benefiting financially from the initiatives, as well as sharing carbon finance for the local communities and helping them in harnessing such resources (Output 3.1.2). The project will thus contribute to increase local communities’ income in the long-term including income from sustainable agriculture through the creation of agricultural products collect, transport, processing and trading and develop their partnership with private agricultural companies, which could commercialize their processed production. A major aspect of the project involves the strengthening and enforcement of regulations on anti-trafficking activities on monitoring biodiversity, developing financial mechanisms (Output 4.2.3). The related activities undertaken during the project will trigger a stronger and more efficient legal mechanism with better crime scene management and criminal investigations, as well as a stronger capacity of protected are managers and patrols to prevent and address wildlife crime in the project area. Local communities will thus benefit from an improved security in the zone, with better surveillance of routes and hubs preventing armed groups from freely entering the area. The project will support social cohesion in the regional transboundary area by fostering increased cooperation between stakeholders over essential issues concerning natural resources management and biodiversity conservation (Outputs 4.2.2. and 4.2.3). Consultations platforms will enable stakeholders to negotiate and solve issues concerning logging concessions for instance. In this process indigenous people and small local communities will be given the opportunity to participate to the decision-making process to ensure their fair representation and appropriation of the development process of the zone. These communities will also receive support to develop community-based forest management through the biological resources access. In the project landscapes, women are mainly responsible for collecting fuelwood and water and livestock rearing, so they are most adversely affected by deforestation and forest degradation. During the social and environmental screening process for gender equality and women’s empowerment (during the project preparation thematic study phase), it was found that it was highly unlikely that the proposed project would have adverse impacts on gender equality and/or the situation of women if adequate safeguards are not put in place. This project has put in place special and specific guidelines ensure representation of women equitably and fairly at all levels of project decisionmaking and access to benefits during project implementation. Guidelines on SLM, SFM, biodiversity conservation and landscape management plans, baseline studies and all other planning processes, implementation and reporting activities will integrate gender and ensure involvement of women and youth in decision-making and active participation in project activities. Improvement of products, access to market and business opportunities for income generation would be undertaken with the intent of actively seeking the participation of women, The project will undergo systematic screening and adjustment in activities at inception planning stage, after the results of baseline study becoming available, during annual work planning, and after formal external midterm review to improve and engage women in the project activities. Improving income generation through sustainable practices The harvesting and reliance on Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) is strong in both project locations. These include in particular, fumbwa (Gnetum africanum), caterpillars, cola nuts, lianas (rattans), wild honey and Marantaceae leaves. These are consumed at the household level, but also commercialized to support limited incomes to local communities and indigenous populations in villages. This project will build on models of community-based sustainable production systems called the Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE) XE "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Environment:(SAFE)" Platforms to develop NTFP value chains. The SAFE model can serve here as a learning platform and baseline approach on which the sustainable NTFP harvesting and commercialization initiatives could be designed ( The SAFE Platform has existed for long and its production model has been tested in different parts of the developing world, including African countries such as Kenya and Tanzania. The SAFE platforms will serve the purpose of fostering multi-stakeholder dialogue and consensus; promoting the development of sustainable and deforestation free supply chains for the selected products; and connecting buyers of sustainable products with producers to establish preferential purchasing agreements for products that comply with sustainable production standards and/or implement certification schemes. The NTFP platforms will address accessing opportunities in market niches that value environmentally and socially responsible production to access differentiated prices to increase producers’ incomes and contribute to financial sustainability of adopting sound environmental practices and certification schemes. Building on the SAFE Platforms model, communities in the project site will be provided with the tools, resources and capacities to develop conservation-compatible livelihood opportunities in non-service livelihood sectors. These will include development in sectors such as sustainable agriculture (particularly the development of the NTFP value chain, as well as value chains for other potentially viable commercial and subsistence crops - such as spices and fruits incorporated into agroforestry systems). This support will be provided in terms of seeds for enhanced locally compatible breeds of crops and trees for farming initiatives to enhance agricultural production; and funding for opening up farms to market access by opening up key road infrastructure within the project area[1]. Given the established dependence of local communities on non-timber forest products, possibilities of developing these value chains will also be examined and promoted where the harvesting of these products is sustainable and the ecological impact of harvesting practices can be monitored and reported. Communities will also be equipped with the business-planning tools necessary for them to identify, develop and manage the mix of business enterprises most suitable for their needs in these proposed value chains. Adding value to Non-timber forest products (NTFPs): Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are wild plant and animal products harvested from forests, savannahs and other natural vegetation types. This definition includes the use of wood for canoes, woodcarvings, local house construction, fencing materials and firewood, but excludes industrial timber. In the Congo Basin region, the use of NTFPs is common, both in rural and urban areas. Some of the most common categories include NTFPs as (i) Food (wild fruits, vegetables, nuts, edible roots, bush meat, edible insects, and honey). Food additives: (spices, food colorants, fermentation agents). Construction material (palm leaves or grass for roof thatch, bamboo, wood, sticks and poles). Fuel (firewood, charcoal). Medicine (medicinal plants, bark, seeds). Environmental uses (ornamental plants, shelter trees). Local communities of the Lac Tumba Landscape and the Grand Kivu use and depend on a wide variety of NTFPs. These include spices, bushmeat, edible caterpillars, fibre, medicinal plants, nuts, etc. The main challenge faced with using NTFPs to support livelihoods is the lack of value addition. These products are exported to markets outside the local, rural environments in which they are harvested in the very raw form – very limited or often no processing. There is also no support for addressing issues of sustainable harvesting of these products. This project will address these two problems by (i) Supporting local communities to organize into NTFPs common initiative groups, and provide capacity building on the sustainable extraction and management of NTFPs. (ii) This project will also support local communities to add value to NTFPs by undertaking pre-processing or full processing. This will involve purchasing and installing at least four pre-processing, or full processing plants for at least two NTFPs identified through participatory processes as economically viable, and environmentally benign. While the type of plant and level of processing will be decided through community engagements, it is expected that these plants should support local communities in some of the key value addition processes of at least one NTFP. (iii) Finally, the project will support the local common initiative groups in obtaining organic certification for their products, properly packaging and labelling, identifying and accessing markets outside of the local communities. Examples of such certification schemes whose services may be sought include: AFNOR Certification (; DEMETER (; Rainforest Alliance (; and GLOBAL G.A.P ( Implementation on the ground: The NTFP value chains will be developed in the Bakano chiefdoms, the Batangi chiefdom, Buhavu, Kabare, Idjwi North, Ax Uvira, Elanga sector, Lusankani - Ngele sector, the Djonori sector and in the sector Bokatola, Pendjwa and Beronge[2]. Two approaches allow both to have a significant impact on landscapes and to favor micro-projects with real economic profitability. For the first approach, we propose 3 projects will be carried out in the province of Equateur, North Kivu and South Kivu[3]: 1. Valorisation of the honey sector by indigenous peoples associated with improved techniques of their sustainable collection, processing and packaging in Bikoro and Lokolama in the Lukolela territory based on the experience of the FAO model in Cambodia by FAO / WWF in addition to PIREDD-Ecuador activities; 2. Valorisation of essential oil from aromatic plants cultivated by the indigenous peoples of Kisimbosa in the Bakano sector in Walikale territory, which must be transformed into a pilot ecotourism site. This project will include several components including the establishment of basic infrastructure for the reception and promotion of Kumu culture (construction of a cultural performance hall and meeting, exhibition room of local handicrafts of a capacity of 15 rooms (huts made of local materials but of improved internal design) for the reception of visitors and will be carried by the Integrated Program for the Development of Pygmy Peoples (PIDP) - KIVU and GIZ; 3. Development of international standard fruit juice (maracuja) with 200 widowed indigenous peoples as economic targets, including in the Muhrobo-Chanderema village in Kalehe territory, Kalonge group, Buhavu chiefdom to be developed as first eco-village. This project, led by Union for the Coaching of Indigenous Women (UEFA), favours the partnership between local communities, NGOs and the private sector. The pilot site will be established in a 27-ha concession purchased by UEFA for the landless indigenous peoples bordering the Kahuzi -Biega National Park[4]. In the perspective of partnership with the private sector and cutting-edge research, it will be implemented in partnership with Green Revolution Initiatives in its capacity as the private sector. However, to reach the 100 projects (as detailed in the project information form) in more than 25% of the ICCAs, the micro-projects approach has to be integrated in its financing of small and medium enterprise projects. Financing of up to US $ 2,500 can be directed to projects in agroforestry, marketing of wild honey, reforestation and restoration landscapes, promotion of rattan, crafts, collection and marketing of Gnetum africanum, improved chikwange in Lukolela, value addition for edible caterpillars and fruit trees in Ingende, medicinal plants in Lokolama, etc. These will be implemented after having trained local associations of local communities and indigenous peoples to develop and implement projects. [1] By clearing and opening up these road infrastructure, the project will also be reducing access constraints to key ecotourism sites – a potentially limiting impediment to tourism flows. [2] Joël Bernardin KIYULU N’YANGA - NZO (2020) Rapport d’Etude sur la Thematique Populations Autochtones et Communautes Locales. Pour le projet “Gestion Communautaire des Paysages Forestiers du Grand Kivu et des Lacs Télé-Tumba segment de la RDC”. FEM-7 Programme à Impact sur les Paysages Durables de Bassin du Congo. Ministere de l’Environnement et de Developpement Durable (MEDD), Kinshasa, RDC. [3] Ibid. Joël Bernardin KIYULU N’YANGA - NZO (2020). [4] See details in Ibid. Joël Bernardin KIYULU N’YANGA - NZO (2020).