Reforestation Program

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Restoration of Grauer’s Gorillas Settlement at Kahuzi Biega National Park

Through our reforestation program, we target degraded forest areas inside and around Kahuzi Biega National Park (KBNP). To fulfill this, Primate Expertise produces plants got from seeds collected from great apes droppings found at KBNP. We do call these plants “Ape trees”. 

To reduce pressure executed on KBNP vegetable resources is the main role of our reforestation program. More than 400 hectares have been degraded in KBNP during these latest decades. Therefore, the expansion of agricultural lands and grassland against the park, unlawful wood cutting for charbonozation as well as the vegetal organs deduction for medical purposes . This deforestation has affected great apes settlement and their dependant.

With Ape Trees: Means of overcoming deforestation at KBNP

Through seeds collected from great apes droppings, Primate Expertise produces plants called “Ape trees”. The Ape trees production is our innovative, unique and nondestructive approach of the forest suitable for restoring degraded forested spaces.

Thanks to many researchers’ studies about great apes alimentary lifestyle, it has been many times noticed that Gorillas and Chimpanzees consume forest fruits among them Syzigium guineensis, bridelia bridelifolia, Myrianthus holtii, Allophyllus kivuensis, Ekebergia campensis….).

Those seeds are visibly present in their droppings. And once they are crossed primates’ digestive tub, their germinative power is boosted. Summing up that those seeds are intact in great apes droppings, we use them in community nursery for Ape trees production. This one is a solution by which great apes contribute themselves to  restore degraded spaces inside and around Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Those ape trees serve us for degraded spaces restoration and others are shared to communities.

Ape trees plantation and distribution is a virtuous practice that comes up with a truthful help to the restoration of Grauer’s Gorilla habitat, the climate change solution and alimentary security. Once these plants are ready for transplantation, we organize subculturing. In this case, the same communities that destroy the forest partake in the restoration of degraded forest.  Next to trees plantation in degraded areas, Primate Expertise, through local structures such as schools, solidary groups, organization,.. shares Ape trees to communities for planting in their fields.

A number of restored hectares at KBNP and in Bulolero areas at Idjwi and many fruitful trees afforded to households and schools

From September, 2020 up to March, 2021 period, we have already sowed more than 10000 plants of great apes for 100 hectares of degraded forest parcels at KBNP. We have also sowed 3419 Ape trees at dimension of 5, 8 hectares especially in MAZIBA village and at Lwiro in CRSN/Lwiro botanic garden; two villages located around KBNP. In Idjwi village at Bulolero (last site sheltering Schoutdeni  blue apes), we have sowed 1399 Ape trees willing to restore that area that is in an advanced degradation due to agricultural activities on slash and burn.

Apart from Ape trees shared, we also give to schools and households fruitful trees among which orange, avocado, mango, plum trees, mandarin, passionflower for promoting fruitful trees production in villages around KBNP. An entire of 6565 fruitful trees have already been shared in 10 villages around KBNP.

We procede in performance purchase for the reforestation of Ape trees products

In 2020, we have dealt with a performance of 937 of plants sowed at a dimension of 2, 34 hectares for restoring BUJINJI’s hill in MAZIBA’s village. With performance purchase, we quarterly promote local structures or people whose plants have got a suitable growth in their fields.

We deals with the domestication of plants consumed by great Apes at Lwiro

In collaboration with Natural Sciences Center from Lwiro, “CRSN/Lwiro”, we domesticate on an approximately surface of 2, 5 hectares, plants consumed by the great apes in CRSN/Lwiro botanic garden. 1600 of Ape trees have already been sowed up to now, and tasks are in an underway.

Our perspective: Achieving the carbon price and restoration of other 300 hectares at KBNP

We are still accelerating restoration actions in degraded forest areas at KBNP and around the park focusing on sensitization for fighting against deforestation at KBNP. Nevertheless, we dream of finding means allowing Ape trees sowers to gain from carbon price that consists of paying trees sowers depending upon carbon used by their reforestation. The restoration of other 300 hectares and KBNP ecological corridor long occupied by farmers will be watched depending on possibilities that will be exploited.

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