The Kahuzi-Biega National Park is located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. For the protection of the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, the Belgian colonial administration created a zoological reserve here in 1937.
Its biological richness is immense. It contains great diversity of forests where many endemic plant species are found. Its fauna is also diverse and it's a home for not only the eastern lowland gorilla but also the forest elephant, chimpanzee, several kinds of primates among others. The Kahuzi-Biega National Park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage in 1980 but it's been listed as a World Heritage in Danger since 1997 due to the overwhelming threats and danger caused by the political instability of this region; influx of refugees, illegal settlers, poaching, removal and burning of timber, presence of militia groups. Although the situation has much improved today, a lot more has to be done to make sure this invaluable park will be passed on to the next generation.
For a long-term conservation of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, the Pole Pole Foundation, POPOF, the first local NGO in the area is making efforts to reduce human pressures on its natural resources by involving local communities in a variety of projects.
As one of our projects we have been distributing over 1.5 million tree seedlings to the villages around the Park since 1997. People use these trees to meet a variety of their needs such as charcoal, firewood, construction and so on. These trees also help fertilizing agricultural farms and reducing human pressures on the protected natural resources in the Park. It's playing a role of buffer zone between the local communities and the Park.
UK representative appointed: Richard Milburn [May 2011]
We are happy to announce that we have got a new associate Richard Milburn as our representative in the United Kingdom. He was born and brought up in London, UK. Having travelled and volunteered in teaching and conservation activities in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, he studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of York, UK. [read more in our blog]
Juichi Yamagiwa and Ian Redmond visited Kahuzi-Biega [March 2011]
Professor Juichi Yamagiwa at Kyoto University, the member of honor of the Pole Pole Foundation, recently visited the Kahuzi-Biega National Park as it is his annual custom for over three decades. [read more in our blog]
POPOF’s March on the International Women’s Day [March 2011]
We organized the POPOF’s march of the International Women’s Day on March 8th 2011. The march begun at Miti center, two ladies carried a piece of bed sheet with the slogan “Women united for the environment. [read more in our blog]
Japanese TV filmed the gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega NP [Feb. 2011]
A Japanese TV station, the Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS TV) filmed once again the gorillas in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP). Since 1970 at least 22 different overseas televisions have filmed in the KBNP. [read more in our blog]
Trees grown and distributed by Anga Complex School [Nov. 2010]
On November 27th was a big day to distribute the amount of 27,000 trees that grew out of the nurseries. As the mobilization for trees distribution, different groups and associations such as churches, schools and villages were invited. The Complex School Anga/POPOF pupils played different games for the demonstration of the value of the trees. Many speeches were made by different local authorities, women sang for the trees. [read more in our blog]
New Coordinator of Works appointed [Oct. 2010]Arsene Maheshe Kisangani has been appointed as our new Coordinator of Works. [read more in our blog]
Presentations at the IPS Congress in Kyoto [Sep. 2010]
The POPOF founder, John Kahekwa, and one of our member of honor and advisor, Augustin Basabose will give presentations at the International Primatological Society XXIII Congress Kyoto 2010 that is to be held in 12-18 Sep. 2010 at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan.[read more in our blog]
Link to the IPS XXIII Congress
The launch of a gorilla tour project "Silverback Kingdom" [Jan. 2010]
Gorilla visit is the key factor in the tourism of this Park. The revenue from the park entrance fee is the important source for the maintenance of the park and the associated private businesses plays an important role for the benefit of the local communities. But still most of the local people is not receiving direct benefit from the gorilla tourism. The POPOF has launched a gorilla tour project "Silverback Kingdom" in January 2010 so that the tourism can benefit the local communities more directly.
Please click HERE for more information.
Success in the State Exam [June 2009]
We are very happy to announce that our secondary school students at Anga School Complex at Miti, took the State Exam of 2009 in June and 6 students have successfully passed the category of Agroforestry. The names of these excellent students are,
- Biringanine Muhigirwa Luc
- Majaribu Malofu Norbert
- Maombi Bahaya Justine
- Murhula Bashizi Guillaume
- Namegabe Rushingwa Juvenal
- Shamavu Badarhi Jacques
They are now entitled to proceed to a university to study rural development, socioeconomics, nature conservation etc. so that they can later utilize their knowledge and skills to improve our community.
Need of support
But the problem is that none of these students has enough financial capacity to afford the annual tuition, which is 500 US dollars for each.
If you could extend your hand to support these excellent students who have been working hard for brighter future, the significance of your kind support is enormous. You would be not only helping these students but also giving a future hope to other potential students and that would lead to produce more human resources within the local communities who will be working for the rural development in harmony with the nature conservation.