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Project August 25, 2020

Burundi's Southern Forests Are Threatened, but Eco-Guards Resist (French)



A growing population, high demand for arable land, the need for wood for heating, and traditional medicine sources are all threatening the forests of Southern Burundi. Bushfires are also a common occurrence during the dry season, May through August, often following transhumance and some traditional beekeeping techniques.

Southern Burundi includes five forest reserves: Bururi, Kigwena, Rumonge, Vyanda, and Rukambasi. Covering 9 thousand hectares, rich in biodiversity, are located at the edge of the Congo-Nile Crest, in the Imbo plains, and bordering Lake Tanganyika.

Most of the forest reserves, despite their importance, are shrinking. Despite the challenges they face, eco-guards are fighting to preserve the heritage of these sites–even with inadequate equipment and training, low salaries, and diminishing numbers–they keep watch over these reserves. They are doing their best to protect the animals that are left, including chimpanzees, baboons, and more.