Healing the Rift: Peacebuilding in and around protected areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Albertine Rift
This report summarizes a 27-month project that piloted a conflict-sensitive approach to conservation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo at four main sites: Virunga National Park, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Itombwe Reserve and the Misotshi-Kabogo Massif.
It built upon an 18-month project that tested the conflict-sensitive approach in Virunga Park that was also supported by the United States Agency for International Development . At each site, assessments were made of the conflicts taking place and where best the Wildlife Conservation Society could intervene to reduce the conflict or minimize its impacts on conservation of the natural resources as well as the people involved. The International Institute for Sustainable Development provided technical expertise in conflict-resolution approaches, and developed training programs a manual for conservation practitioners in conflict-sensitive approaches to conservation and created a section on its website where conservation practitioners can access tools and materials to help them.
The project had an overall goalto: adapt and replicate a conflict-analysis and resolution approach, previously tested in Virunga National Park, to existing conflict and violence situations elsewhere in the Albertine Rift.
The four main objectivesof the project were to:
- Build the capacity of the International Center on Conflict and Negotiation to understand, manage and resolve conflicts using integrated approaches that emphasize community participation and collaboration.
- Assess, map and prioritize conflicts in project protected areas to inform application of conflict-mitigation approaches and develop conflict-resolution plans for each area.
- Tackle prioritized conflicts using collaborative approaches in the Albertine Rift protected areas.
- Summarize and disseminate peacebuilding lessons.