The wetlands within the Nyungwe National Park Buffer Zone provide vital
ecosystem services. Such as, water supply and folder (grass) for domestic
animals, erosion control, and nutrients for the soil. Despite local communities heavily relying on the wetlands for survival, little is known
about how to asses and monitor the wetlands in the buffer zone.
The buffer zone consists of exotic tree species and wetlands. In 2011, the government of Rwanda signed a 49-year logging agreement with the New Forests Company (NFC) for tree plantation management of the Buffer Zone. There has yet to be a good structure to manage the wetlands. However, BIOCOOR and NFC have begun using the Pressure-State-Response- Framework method to assess and monitor the wetlands within the Buffer Zone.
BIOCOOR aims to link biodiversity conservation with community action and human welfare. The cooperative has taken into consideration such issues and created community outreach programs in primary (middle school) and secondary (high school) schools. It has also initiated environmental clubs in secondary schools that will assist and support students in training and finance.
BIOCOOR offers student-internships in Ecotourism, biodiversity conservation, and environmental management at the Kitabi Eco-Center. Research Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Eric Ndagijimana, trains students to identify different biodiversity existing in and around Nyungwe National Park. Eric is graduate of Wildlife and Aquatic Systems Management at the University of Rwanda.