Just like in many countries, the relation humans have with their environment raises many issues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While climate change and the issue of energies are the main focus in Europe, Congolese are dealing with this issue from a different perspective.
For example, finding the necessary balance between preserving protected areas and fulfilling the basic needs of communities living nearby: how to maintain biosphere conservation missions while ensuring access to food, wood, and potential revenue sources, in rural areas where economic opportunities are extremely limited?
Along with its partners, ULB-Cooperation implemented a systemic approach for an integrated territorial management to reduce pressure on natural resources and develop viable alternatives with communities.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ULB-Cooperation’s projects regarding integrated territorial management are mainly focused around two protected areas (AP), the Luki Biosphere Reserve (RBL) and the Mangroves Marine Park (PMM).
Assistance for the Virunga National Park (PNV) is also planned. However, this has yet to begin because of the security issue in North Kivu.
Local populations meet their basic socioeconomic needs by developing sustainable economic activities and by managing ecosystems and agroecosystems in a sustainable and inclusive way.
The program has three target areas: the development of agricultural supply chains, the conservation and restoration of the environment, the management of inclusive knowledge.
Development of agricultural supply chains
To support the creation of income generating activities, we contribute to the development of agricultural supply chains:
- Provide support for agroecological production techniques
- Support the extraction and transformation of beekeeping and market garden products
- Reinforce beekeepers’ and producers’ organizations
- Establish fair trade relations and contract farming
- Support the creation of micro and small companies by women and the youth by launching innovation competitions
The environmental axis focuses on the conservation and restoration of the biodiversity and natural resources of protected areas and agroecosystems:
- Provide support for the development of the Mellifère Botanical Garden in Luki
- Provide support for community forestry
- Reforestation of mangroves
- Provide technical support for voluntary carbon offsetting market access
- Provide technical support for the use of Geographic Information Systems
Inclusive knowledge management
Finally, as an academic NGO, a major part of our activities concerns production and knowledge management:
- Conducting diagnostics, studies and research based on dissertations, PhDs and internal studies.
- Establishing a scientific committee with those in the field as well as national, regional and international institutes of research to decide if the suggested research topics are constructive and meet the real needs of the local community and protected area managers, and also to ensure the usefulness of these research in improving the standards of living of local communities.
Collectif des Apiculteurs du Mayombe (COAPMA)
January 2022 – december 2026
Potential for diversification of agricultural activities around the Mangrove Marine Park «Analysis – in depth diagnosis of the agrarian system in the Muanda area».