Restoring the Rusizi National Park in Burundi
On 13th July 2012 ALERT entered into an agreement with the Government of the Republic of Burundi to jointly manage the Rusizi National Park using ALERT's responsible development principles. The Parties to the agreement are:
- African Lion & Environmental Research Trust;
- Ministry of Water, Environment, Land Management & Urban Planning, and;
- Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Posts and Tourism
The agreement shall be implemented through ALERT with the National Institute for the Environment and the Conservation of Nature and the Burundi National Tourism Office.
At the broadest institutional level the agreement aims to make a specific contribution to the enrichment and conservation of national biodiversity and heritage assets in the Park by restoring the habitat, reintroducing existing and extinct indigenous species, and to contribute positively to GDP through the development of ecotourism within the Park.
The small country of Burundi has long had a strong relationship with the lion, its image appearing on the nation's coat of arms. Records of the last lion of Burundi however are lost in history, although rumours of the occasional feline visit from neighbouring Tanzania exist. In 2011 the first of many meetings and discussions took place to bring the symbol of Burundi back to its landscape that culminated in the signing of this agreement.
The agreement is of course much more than the reintroduction of lions. Such action requires a major restoration of the protected area including the reintroduction of many species that are indigenous to the Park, many of which were lost along with the nation's lions. Burundi is also seeking to establish itself as a major destination for tourism and believes that our approach will deliver the desired conservation and development objectives.
Click here for more information about lions within Burundi.
2012: Signing of an agreement to jointly manage the Ruvubu National Park under responsible development principles.
2013: During the year we have been undertaking the next stage in the process, to complete a Convention of Implementation that lays out the detail of how this agreement will be undertaken.