In 1902, a German named “Capt. Robert Von Beringei, a former soldier who arrived at the Volcanoes National Park, encountered a variety of animals without knowing it, shot the animal, and sent some of its parts to his home in Germany, where scientists analyzed the animal’s identity, confirming it was a Goose. Volcanoes Park, located in Northern Rwanda, was first approved in 1925 and was part of the Kalisimbi Volcano, Mikeno, which is the first national park on the African continent.
Capt. Robert Von Beringei
In 1929, a volcanic park operating on the part of Rwanda and the Congo During the colonial period of the Belgian colonies, they sold it on an area of 8090 km2 and named it Park National Albert. The colonial management of the park was based on the fact that they had already discovered that the park’s biodiversity network was rich in economics, which in 1960 was the former “Zaire” independence, and Rwanda’s accession to the park. In 1962, the Volcanoes National Park, which was shared by the two countries, eventually split into two parts, each with its own conservation area.
As soon as the gorillas were discovered, researchers in the volcanoes were no longer in the Volcanoes Park, so in 1967, the American environmental researcher, Diana Fossey, known in Rwanda as the Nyiramacibiri, began researching the gorillas. Diana Fossey, who has been active in the field of monitoring and deepening the life of the Goats, and making them known internationally, through the Center; The Karisoke Research Center was established.
The nature of the problem;
Historians and other residents were accustomed to kidnapping animals because they did not cultivate, which was their daily routine, and the animals were injured and they were afraid to go to the doctor for treatment so that they could not be released from the park. Their lives are in danger because of medical malpractice.
In addition, the abducted animals were the ones who owned the food they ate and sold, except for claying and hunting the animals in the forest because their ancestors did not know how to protect the environment.
In the years 1958-1980, the degradation activity was exceptionally rapid, reducing the number of gorillas at that time living in the whole Park, from 450 to 250.
In the 1980s, the Park launched a Tourism Program that focused on visiting gorillas more than any other species in the Park, with a campaign highlighting the benefits of the Park when it would have been well-maintained. As a result, the number of visitors to the park increased at that time, so that by 1989 it was visited by about 7,000 tourists.
The Volcanoes National Park covers an area of 450 km2, which is shared by countries such as Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda. ‘As people greeted us, they started deforestation, kidnapping animals and settling in their areas.
The Vision 2020 was launched in 2000 in the field of tourism after it had already become a pillar of the great economy, especially in the development of the country and the transformation of the Rwandan people.
The government has put in place measures to enhance the importance of tourism at home and internationally, and to strengthen the co-ordination of the role of the people and the authorities in its conservation.
Volcanoes Conservation Strategies;
The Director of the Volcanoes National Park, Mr. Uwingeri Prosper, told us that the park has been involved in a number of destructive activities at various times, so that it has been shown that maintaining its integrity is possible and would be a source of great interest to Rwandans, as a matter of urgency. the act of preventing it from continuing, occurred; to prevent people from continuing to attack it, to prevent it from being turned into an agricultural area and to reduce the activity of the predators who were constantly killing some of the animals that live in it.
The Director of the Volcanoes National Park, Mr. Uwingeri Prosper
Distribution of profits from tourism;
While the tourism revenue sharing program, residents of the 12 sectors operating in the Volcanoes National Park were entitled to a profit of 5% per annum, now the amount has been increased to 10%. These tourism benefits are met; Infrastructure includes construction, clinics, affordable housing, schools, electricity, water, and support for agricultural, livestock, and handicraft cooperative projects. 67% of the infrastructure, 25% of the agricultural and livestock projects, the remainder of the wall and foundation were used to protect the wildlife and to support the National Wildlife Refuge Compensation Fund.
Mr. Uwingeri Prosper, further informed us that the program itself and other investment activities set up to support it, have brought about significant change in the community through the provision of self-employment, access to poverty alleviation, which has made them more aware of the importance of the Park.
Mr. Uwingeri Prosper gave the example of building infrastructure such as schools, roads, financially empowered people, contributing to its construction, and even then, when it was complete, they began to get what they needed. Like the roads they use in the trade, these schools are attended by their children because before there were no schools nearby.
Journalists visit residents near Volcanoes Park
With each passing year, the park’s wealth continues to grow based on the increase in visitors, for example in 2019 when the Park earns more than $ 26 million, as the park’s wealth increases, so does the non-profit. Not only Rwandans, but also foreigners.
In addition, the residents of the Volcanoes Park have been fortunate to have more and more tourists, and investors have also been building more and more hotels as many of the park’s visitors are staying, depending on the number of employees who are paid for their families, tour operators and tourists. The population trades in the various necessities of tourism.
Volcano National Park Director Uwingeri Prosper went on to say that the activities of the kidnappers have become such that even those who have been arrested or suspected are being trained in collaboration with the authorities and former cooperatives of the kidnappers and in the interest of tourism. He concluded by saying; “The Park is a marketplace for many things that will benefit many people, not just its neighbors but the whole country.”
Former female and female kidnappers have been found to be the culprit;
Some of the women and girls we spoke to told us that they were descended from ex-animal poachers and damage to the Park as their ancestors taught them the techniques of laying and preying on animals in the early hours of the morning so that you would not let them stab them with spears.
They went on to say that they had been educated because they had been kidnapped and that they had given up on the wildlife, and that they were involved in other projects that were related to the conservation of the park and that it was in their best interest. And clay but lives at home.
Barora Leonidas, a resident of Nyakigina Village, Nyabigoma Cell, Kinigi Sector, Musanze District, who is one of the historically disadvantaged, told us that their culture was to hunt in the forest and to make it easier for them to abduct animals from 1963 to 1994, that no wildlife in the National Park except the gorillas were afraid to be human,
He also said that after quitting the kidnapping of the Volcanoes National Park, he went to a camp that brought together more than 1,000 kidnappers and their descendants to help them thrive. He went on to say that he started with a co-educational institution, which has helped him a lot, that he has paid for his children’s education, that he now has a son who graduated from high school and is a pastor, who has been able to buy farms and give his wife what to do and their livelihood has changed. without thinking of going to pollute the environment.
Barora Leonidas also says that the boats helped her develop her day-to-day routine before her classmates called “About Our Cultural Village” located in Kinigi sector, which was started by Sabuhoro Eduin in 2006 where she brought together more than 1000 former kidnappers. Where they engage in a variety of activities including manufacturing, marketing, arts, animal husbandry, agriculture and other productive income and income from travel to the center for the benefit of its members.
Barora concluded He advises those who have a tendency to be kidnappers to leave, and to join organizations that help them develop instead of rebelling and destroying the environment, saying that he found that his actions in kidnapping animals were of no benefit to him and encouraged other environmentalists to stop.
The birth of a former cooperative of kidnappers;
Some of the donors who saw the people living in the Volcanoes Park immediately joined them in various activities with the help of the SACOLA “Sabyinyo Community Livelihood Association” in the arts, weaving, pottery, crafts, agriculture and animal husbandry.
Of all those who have come together in the past, those who have at least a small fortune have bought small livestock and so on …, saying that since then they have been reluctant to damage the park’s components, knowing the benefits of maintaining it now in peace.
In addition, the perception of people close to the volcanoes that have been polluting it has been changing since 2004, when the “SACOLA” organization was formed to sensitize the people living in the volcanic forest to protect it.
Through this organization, which has been instrumental in the conservation of Volcanoes Park, through “SACOLA” they now have clean water and schools close to the people of Kinigi and Nyange sectors and also help a number of people to form modern livestock and agricultural cooperatives. Helped them thrive.
SACOLA’s management ensures that all activities of the association are selected according to the wishes of the community, which is determined by the amount of money provided by the tourists who come to visit the Volcanoes Park and find accommodation in the Hotel built by the association.
Volcanoes National Park covers five volcanoes in Rwanda: Kalisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura. The animals and plants that inhabit them vary in size due to the altitude or nature of each ecosystem that makes it possible to live without hindrance has a part of a lowland forest, a large part of which is cultivated by the people.
From 2,400 to 2,500 feet in elevation, there is the Néoboutonia forest. At an altitude of 2500 to 3200 meters it is the Urugano forest that covers 30% of the total area of the Park.
As the altitude rises, different types of forests, including deciduous trees, grasses and other vegetation, become more and more close as they approach the top of the volcano, some of the volcanoes, Muhabura and Bisoke, which are located at the top. Little lake.
In other words, the Volcanoes National Park on the Rwandan side, there are more than 360 gorillas in different species of mammals living in the park.
Rwanda has put in place policies and strategies to conserve and combat the decline of the biodiversity network where in the vision for 2050, Rwanda is expected to be one of the most economically developed and resilient developing countries.