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Project January 3, 2024

Gishwati-Mukura Park: Between Protection and Survival of Local Communities



The Gishwati-Mukura park continues to be threatened by the activities of local populations in search of the means for survival, despite the efforts of public authorities to protect and conserve it. Among the threats to this natural forest are deforestation caused by the search for firewood and resistance to behavioral change by local communities. This situation is also manifested by agriculture spilling into the protected area.

The communities surrounding the park are gradually integrating innovative solutions to improve their living conditions and preserve the flora and fauna.

Gishwati is home to a group of 20 chimpanzees that live alongside dozens of golden and blue monkeys. Birds are well represented, with 232 species observed in Gishwati and 163 in Mukura, including Albertine Rift endemics. This project will focus on an in-depth investigation of innovative solutions to preserve the flora and fauna of this natural forest.

Gishwati Forest was merged with the neighboring Mukura Natural Forest to create Gishwati-Mukura National Park in 2016, reaching over 1.9 hectares of forest cover. In 1999, a total of 10,184 families comprising 42,913 people were settled there.

In mid-2009, satellite images released by NASA showed that 99.4% of the Gishwati forest had been destroyed. This occurred between 1986 and 2001. In 1978, the Gishwati forest covered 100,000 hectares. NASA images showed that only 600 hectares remained.

Questions will be put to the scientists to explain the threat of deforestation and degradation, and its impact on climate change. What solutions have been put in place to deal with the effects of changing habits, but also the conflicts that this management can generate? How does the government provide access to land so that people can protect it?


yellow halftone illustration of a logging truck holding logs


Rainforest Reporting

Rainforest Reporting


a yellow halftone illustration of a truck holding logs