Conservation is all about people
One of the principal characteristics of the programme is that it is regional, basing its activities in the afromontane forest habitat that lies across the shared borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). IGCP achieves maximum impact by working in close partnership with the park staff of all three countries (see Range states). Building capacity and encouraging regional collaboration helps the park authorities to improve their individual and collective effectiveness.
A vital part of these activities is to develop more sophisticated monitoring techniques throughout the protected area shared by the three countries. Socio-economic development and conservation are inextricably linked. IGCP has teamed up with CARE International to implement the Enterprise, Environment, and Equity in the Virunga Landscape of the Great Lakes Project. By improving livelihoods, encouraging sustainable use of resources and tackling other local issues via a range of community initiatives, the programme aims to influence attitudes to conservation at all levels and reduce the threats facing the parks, forests and wildlife.
At the same time, IGCP works with key decision-makers with a view to influencing policy and ensuring that each country benefits from conservation at local and national level. The 10% increase in the mountain gorilla population within ten years of the programme’s inception demonstrates the efficacy of IGCP’s holistic approach to conservation.