CANKUZO May 24th (ABP) – The European Union ambassador to Burundi, Claude Bochu, proceeded, on Monday 22 May 2023 in Cankuzo province, to the official launching of the projects of the program for biodiversity and protected areas management (BIOPAMA) in Burundi financed by the European Union. Those projects will be implemented by the consortium of organizations OBPE, APRN-BEPB, ACVE, 3C and ICU, a check by ABP revealed.
Mr. Bochu said that those projects will intervene in the protection of the most renowned and most protected areas visited according to their landscape beauty attributed by tourists, namely the protected aquatic landscapes of the north, the Ruvubu National Park and the monument sites of the east namely the Karera waterfall and the Nyakazu faults.
Those projects will also aim to promote ecotourism, which is fundamental to maintaining forest protection.
Moreover, as the European Union ambassador to Burundi pointed out, the promotion of the tourism sector is to be encouraged to make Burundi an emerging country.
The director of forests within the Burundi Environmental Protection Authority (OBPE), Samuel Nibitanga, commended the support of the European Union in the protection of the environment, especially since the objectives of those projects are to raise awareness among the people in the initiation of self-development projects.
He added that those projects also aim at reforestation and capacity building of the staff of the OBPE in order to cut short with the destabilization of protected places. It is in that context that he asked Ambassador Bochu that other tourist sites be protected to attract more visitors.
However, Mr. Nibitanga deplored the fact that animals leave the Ruvubu National Park to graze the fields of the local people. That is why he asked for support to fence off the park in order to put an end to that phenomenon.
According to the governor’s adviser in charge of legal affairs, Mr. Silas Nimbona, he pointed out that apart from the problems observed at Ruvubu National Park, the province has other tourist spots that are not protected at all. He pointed out that those parks are threatened by bush fires, the overstepping of boundaries by local people, illegal and clandestine livestock farming within those areas, to name but a few. It is worth knowing that the BIOPAMA program has three projects. These are the promotion of ecotourism in the Ruvubu National Park as a lever for sustainable and equitable improvement of the livelihoods of local communities, the project to support the improvement of PAPN management efficiency and community development initiatives (PAAPID) and the project to develop community ecotourism and improve the management of natural monuments in eastern Burundi. They are funded to the tune of 600,000 for 18 months.