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Project May 4, 2023

SOS Endangered Species: The African Plum Tree and the False Palm Tree Are Threatened in Burundi



For a long time, the Rusizi Park and the Kibira Park located in the Congo Basin have been threatened by deforestation. Each year, hundreds of hectares are destroyed by local residents. However, two of the most threatened species are endemic: the false palm and the African plum.

From 1951 to 2013, the forest of the false palm has decreased from 2800 ha to 1200 ha. The trunk, leaves, petioles and fruits of this species are sought after by both local residents and the inhabitants of Bujumbura.

The OBPE survey conducted in 2020 on the socio-economic importance of the African plum tree in Burundi revealed that traditional practitioners use the bark, leaves, and roots of the African plum tree to treat over 42 diseases. It is also known for the quality of its planks, troughs, stakes, handles, and mortars. This deforestation is repeated every day on these species, making their fate uncertain.