Support to Indigenous girls and women in restoring the biodiversity of community forests through the planting and rational management of edible caterpillars in Mwenga territory(DR Congo)

Véronique BULAYA
Posted July 18, 2019 from Democratic Republic of the Congo

Project summary

Our project is facing the problem of deforestation caused by lawless logging, particularly irrational logging of trees in the community forests of Mwenga for the production of ember to Bukavu. This contributes to the significant destruction of forest biodiversity, including the scarcity of edible caterpillars, to the disadvantage of indigenous girls and women who depend on these forest products. This bad practice is also the cause of climatic disturbances, food insecurity and the accentuation of poverty in 7 groups bordering the Itombwe Nature Reserve whose forests are overexploited and degraded at Basimweda 1st-Kalundu, Irangi- Ilibo, Kigogo, Bawandeme, Bingili-Bazala, Byonga and Kitutu in Mwenga territory east of DR Congo. To this end, the objective of our project is to contribute to the fight against deforestation by planting host trees of edible caterpillars with a view to participatory restoration of this forest biodiversity (edible caterpillar) beneficial to indigenous girls and women. , as the use of caterpillars as a food product makes it possible, on the one hand, to compensate for the loss of crops and food insecurity, and on the other hand to create a source of income for indigenous girls and women in the 7 riparian groups of the Itombwe Natural Reserve whose forests are overexploited and degraded in Basimweda 1st-Kalundu, Irangi-Ilibo, Kigogo, Bawandeme, Bingili-Bazala, Byonga and Kitutu in the territory of Mwenga.

This project contributes to the fight against deforestation by planting host trees of edible caterpillars with a view to participatory restoration of this forest biodiversity beneficial to Bambuti youth and women, as the use of caterpillars as a food product on the one hand to compensate for the loss of crops and food insecurity, and on the other hand to create a source of income for young people and indigenous women in the 7 groups bordering the Itombwe Natural Reserve whose forests are overexploited and degraded at Basimweda 1st-Kalundu, Irangi-Ilibo, Kigogo, Bawandeme, Bingili-Bazala, Byonga and Kitutu in Mwenga territory.

Results achieved in the first half of the project (in 2019):

Identified indigenous girls and women participate in the rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems and the sound and sustainable management of community forests in Mwenga territory: - 35 native nursery girls and women trained and supervised in the production of host plants of the edible caterpillars; - 7 local committees of girls and women nurserymen of edible caterpillars set up and accompanied; - 7 caterpillar tree nurseries being set up and maintained in the 7 target groups.

Expected results by December 2020:

2) Community forests are restored from their biodiversity by planting host trees of caterpillars by indigenous girls and women in Mwenga territory: - 1400 girls and women sensitized and supported in the restoration of biodiversity by planting caterpillar trees; - 12000 seedlings distributed and planted by indigenous girls and women; - 350 ha of community forests restored by caterpillar host trees for the seven groups targeted for 50 ha per community forest; - 35 members of the local forest monitoring committees of indigenous girls and women trained; - 7 Local Forestry Monitoring Committees for indigenous girls and women set up and monitored in the 7 community forests.

3) The socio-economic conditions of girls, women and indigenous families are improved by access to edible caterpillars in Mwenga territory: - 40 Aboriginal youth and women trained in the management of a tracked cooperative - 1 Aboriginal cooperative selling edible caterpillars set up and monitored; - 200 tonnes of caterpillars produced and sold by the Aboriginal Cheese Co-operative; - 1400 Aboriginal families who improve their nutritional status through access to food caterpillars; - 1400 Aboriginal girls, women and families who improve their socio-economic and self-reliant conditions.

Comments 2

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Jill Langhus
Jul 18
Jul 18

Wow, Véronique,

Thanks for sharing your passion project. This is certainly and innovative project and solution. If you're in need of support for your initiative, you may want to look at this resource: https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/anaisabelbbp/resources/91408. Please keep us posted on your progress, and good luck!

Hello, Veronique,

Congratulations on the achievements during the first half of the project: identifying indigenous women to be involved in the rehabilitation of the forest.

Hoping you reach your goals by December 2020. Thank you for sharing!