When one looks at the story of nature conservation in Africa, one cannot avoid noting that the Albertine Rift Valley is a unique ecosystem in the Tanganyika province. In this system, the Kabobo massif is the largest, isolated area of montane forest in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, stretching for about 100 km along the western shore of the Lake Tanganyika and is naturally separated from the Itombwe massif to the north, by a 50 km wide savannah.
Given its size, isolation and geographic location it could therefore represent an area of outstanding biological value and conservation importance at global scale. Since the 1960s it has been the hideout of armed militias who have been fighting against the government and it has remained largely unexplored till recently.
Still, looking at the dark history of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Tanganyika province, it is also one of the last remaining areas in the world where wildlife populations are facing numerous threats. Suitably in the sub-montane and montane rainforest on the escarpment to the west of Lake Tanganyika, Kabobo massif is one of the last nature’s stronghold with many endemic species of both flora and fauna that are endangered with extinction if appropriate measures are not taken.
Oluokos Signature, a Kenyan founded responsible company, aims to create a sustainable ecotourism environment through working with communities in Kabobo to conserve and utilize the natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Tanganyika province.
Our sustainable ecotourism project will focus on conducting research, ethical ecotourism capacity building and conservation mentorship clubs for local schools, in order to create a sustainable environment through nature conservation.
We will put effort to increase the local and migrant population’s awareness of the social and environmental impacts of slash-and-burn and shifting practices agriculture that are associated with deforestation and forest degradation.
Having an in-depth understanding on the of lack of alternative livelihoods as a key issue that both directly and indirectly affects the ecosystem. Our response to this, alongside other conservation organizations, will identify feasible alternative activities that could generate income for the native communities from the natural resources sustainably.
The establishment of ecotourism in the ecosystem will safeguard the future of nature conservation, particularly in areas that are already benefiting from increased stability, tourist attraction sites and good accessibility with links to the local tourist attractions. These will in return open up the Kabobo ecosystem to increased scientific research and ecotourism opportunities.
In addition to the above, Oluokos Signature will work on a benefit-sharing scheme. Our all-inclusive mutual approach to this will be arranged to ensure that a percentage of the revenue from our ecotourism related undertakings is invested in local host communities’ developmental initiatives.
Truly, ecotourism is part of a holistic solution to a problem that if left unchecked could result in having to restock our wildernesses in the next few years’ time. Through ecotourism in Democratic Republic of Congo, we’ve designed this solution to tackle poverty, protect communities, conserve nature, and effect cultural change only where it’s absolutely necessary.
For us, ensuring that we have the greatest impact has meant that Oluokos creates its own signature footprint. We treasure our community; we are dearly attached to nature as we depend on it for our lifelong income. The success of our approach requires three vital ingredients: conservation, commerce, and community. It’s only through your support that we can achieve these. Please, step forward and support us today.