From the 9th to 13th January 2017, at Ihusi Hotel in Goma(North-Kivu/DRC), GVTC organizes a regional workshop on the landscape management & law enforcement within the Greater Virunga Landscape. This workshop is complementary to the previous one held in Musanze last December 2016 focused on community conservation and tourism development. Participants attending this workshop are from academic and research institutions, state organizations in charge of conservation & tourism, legislation and security within the three member states, i.e. DRC, Rwanda & Uganda.
This workshop was facilitated by the financial support from Wild Earth Allies (WEA) in USA and aims at (i) determining the Terms of reference for the Landscape Regional Technical Committee and reviewing the Regional Law Enforcement Technical Committee; (ii) determining the conditions of service and rules of each committee; (iii) elaborating the action plan for each committee; and (iv) initiating the Greater Virunga Landscape Wildlife crime strategy process.
The welcome remarks were given by the Executive Secretary of GVTC, Dr Georges Muamba Tshibasu who pointed out that it has been a year and a half since the GVTC treaty was signed by the member states for transboundary collaboration on wildlife conservation and tourism development.
The 4 Regional Technical Committees are prescribed by the GVTC treaty and are related the (i)Landscape Management; (ii)Law Enforcement; (iii) Tourism Development and (iv) Community Conservation.
During the opening remarks, Mr. Benoit Kisuki Mathe, Director of ICCN in charge of scientific & technical audit and International Conventions welcomed participants from the three member states, including ICGLR experts, urging them to support the transboundary collaboration initiatives undertaken by park wardens and carried on by Protected Areas Authorities (PAAs) ten years ago within the Greater Virunga Landscape (GVL). Indeed, the PAAs, among them Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and ICCN, supported by their respective line ministries, have considerably been backing the creation of GVTC and the treaty signing in 2015 was a culmination of combined efforts from national and international partners. The ratification of the GVTC Treaty by the parliaments of the state members and its promulgation by the Heads of state are expected in the coming months.
It is in that prospect of growth and influence that Mr. Benoit Kisuki recalled how in its inception, GVTC was an informal transboundary collaboration framework, and now has become a formalized intergovernmental organization, which is, of course, a model of policies harmonization on natural resources management within the protected areas shared by the three countries.
GVTC Communication Service.