'Work with the local communities to improve their livelihood and ensure the long term conservation of graueri gorillas.'
We involve the local communities in the long-term protection and conservation of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, KBNP in order to reduce human pressures on the natural resources of this park while improving the quality of life in the communities.
Our logo represents the fauna and flora of the KBNP and the community around the park. This is a sign of an harmoniours coexistence of the nature and the people. This beautiful logo was desined by Rich Murphy, our member of honor.
The approaches of the POPOF-I in the field:
We work with the local communities. “Empty stomach got no ears” is an expression often used by the people living around the KBNP. The meaning of this phrase is that when people are in an economic hardship, they wouldn't listen to you. So if you want to prevent the people from entering the park for illegal activities, it's critical to do the following.
1. To provide the people with the job training and increase the employment
2. To initiate the environmental education program to raise awareness among the people about the importance of the natural resources of the park.
Despite the hard times of wars in the Great Lakes Region since 1990, and especially in the D.R. Congo since 1996, the POPOF-I and other organizations did not just cross the hands. We worked hard for better future and the POPOF-I has been contributing a lot around the KBNP through the following activities.
2. Tailoring and sewing training for pygmy women who used to be poachers.
3. Wood carvings and embroidery by local people, especially former poachers.
4. Environmental education program
All these initiatives aim at improving the quality of life of the people living around the KBNP and inviting them to participate actively in the conservation of the natural resources.
More critical projects in order to create more employment for the local communities are still locked in the POPOF-I’s 'refrigerator' due to lack of budget to start with. And these projects include,
-Construction of a campsite to welcome tourists from all over the world who visit the gorillas in the park so that they can enjoy local hospitality and foods.
-Promotion of the house-building with burnt-bricks instead of wood that are often extracted from the park.