BUJUMBURA June 30th (ABP) – The University of Burundi via the Center for Research in Animal, Plant and Environmental Product Sciences (CRAVE), organized on Monday June 28, 2021, a data sharing workshop on protected areas in Burundi within the framework of the project: “Constitution of the updated database on protected areas in Burundi,” for researchers, representatives of the Burundi Environmental Protection Authority (OBPE), students in master and other people from different categories.
In his opening speech, the director of research and innovations at the University of Burundi, Mr. Mélance Ntunzwenimana, underlined the great importance of biodiversity conservation through effectively managed protected areas for a country and humanity. He also specified that this importance is also reaffirmed in the PND 2018-2027, in issue number 1 and in its strategic orientation 3 and 9. The role of the latter is also mentioned in the SDGs: 15. According to Professor Ntunzwenimana, that project is a contribution to those imperatives of sustainable development.
The head of CRAVE, Mr André Nduwimana, who also participated in the survey of protected areas in Burundi, listed some of the results of the survey. He underlined that the observation is that studies on protected areas are not enough and the little work carried out is not archived for consultation. He also noted the lack of harmonization in terms of resources allocated to protected areas for management, many protected areas that do not have a management plan, planning based on threats and their prevention.
According to the same source, during the survey, they noted a weak association of stakeholders in management, tourism and fines as sources of income received by the administration and the weak involvement of the administration in governance. He also underlined people who benefit little from authorizations, and the declarations show that this differs according to the protected areas and the categories of surveys. Another observation is that legal provisions on governance of protected areas exist but are difficult to apply and the strong centralization at the OBPE which is the main manager.
Mr. Nduwimana did not forget to underline human action as a threat which undermines the protection of protected areas. He cited cultivation clearing, tree cutting, forest fires, coal mining, cattle grazing, the establishment of dwellings, herbaceous cutting, mining and quarrying, dumping, and so forth.
For this reason, that investigator proposed OBPE raise awareness of the surrounding people to make them understand the role of conservation of those spaces which without them, sustainable development is impossible, and to involve them in that work in order to change mentality.
The workshop participants commended the results of that survey and pleaded for its continuity by including all stakeholders.