GIERI (Groupe d’Intervention Pour l’Encadrement Et La Rehabilitation Integrale, or, Intervention Group for Farming and Integral Rehabilitation) is a nonprofit organization registered in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1997. Headquartered in the city of Bukavu, DRC, the goal of the project is to develop methods to sequester carbon and reduce total GHG emissions in the region. The project aims to engage the local population in a long term effort to manage the forest and its resources for growth and sustainability while generating tangible benefits and income. PαC will deploy analyzers within the System of Systems network to provide real time, high frequency data for GHG net emissions over the project area. The data should also be of high interest to African scientists and policy makers as the trend of GHG dynamics is revealed over time. There are few data for GHG dynamics available for this part of Africa. The map inset (Shabunda Region) shows the total area of the Shabunda territory and its relationship to the Kahuzi-Beiga National Park and the Itombwe Nature Preserve. The current project will involve a portion of the Shabunda Territory located in the northwest section of the area shown. The project boundaries are being determined and are under review.
The project developed by GIERI and PαC will contribute to building conditions of peace around the managed environment, Les Forets de da la Paix, and to promote community development across the project area. Forest carbon sequestration through reforestation, improved forest management, agroforestry, afforestation (community forests) and through biodiversity conservation (avoided GHG emissions) will go hand-in-hand with humanitarian programs.
GIERI will use revenue to:
- Improve the nutrition and diet of all persons by upgrading agrarian infrastructure and food security.
- Participate in programs aimed at environmental protection and environmental sanitation.
- Rally community development from local environments based on the initiatives of the local population.
- Actively participate in advocacy for the promotion and socio-economic reintegration of youth.
- Contribute to the alleviation of poverty and vulnerability of the young, the aged and the ill to disaster conditions.
- Contribute to the reconstruction process of peace and community reconciliation.
GIERI has experience in land restoration and environmental project management including the implementation of a project in partnership with Australia Landcare International to reforest the degraded slopes of Kabare and Kasha Hills (2013). GIERI was awarded the Emerging Landcare In Africa Award by the Africa Landcare Network during the 2014 South Africa Landcare Conference in Durbin.
Patrick remarked that the ultimate goal of the project is to “Raise the Human Development Index over the coming generations connecting with the forest and natural resources that we depend upon.”