Sustainable agriculture and agroforestry combined with political advocacy for improved regulation of fishing in Lake Kivu are helping restore coastal forests and aquatic habitats in the Gulf of Kabuno. Reforestation efforts also aim to improve the carbon storage potential of the surrounding area to counter Lake Kivu’s high rates of carbon and methane emissions.
Ecosystems on the Gulf of Kabuno shores are threatened by deforestation, habitat destruction, and the spillover effects of unsustainable fishing in Lake Kivu. Therefore, the Program to support Arable and Livestock Farmers for Local Development (PAEDE) is working to train local community members in more sustainable agricultural practices. Furthermore, communities are engaging in reforestation projects using agroforestry species to help improve the carbon storage potential of the area. These reforestation efforts also help preserve endangered bees and fingerlings. In order to help protect aquatic species, PAEDE has introduced riparian sugar cane and seaweed which provide suitable environments to protect fish and other wildlife. Furthermore, in order to advance an enabling regulatory environment for these developments, PAEDE also advocates for legal changes to better regulate fishing, including in protected areas on the shoreline of the Gulf of Kabuno.
A 10-meter-wide strip of land has been reforested along part of the shore of Lake Kivu which is predicted to help absorb carbon dioxide and methane gases released the lake.
It is reported that reforestation projects and the introduction of beehives have reduced local community pressure on resources along the shore.
Communities have reportedly gained greater access to markets and are able to sell the products of their agroforestry work to supplement local incomes.