WWF's support to sustainable agriculture brings back animals
The support to local development committees (LDCs) and pilot farms is the core of this approach advocated by WWF. Local Development Committees are rural governance structures that can lead communities to a development that includes social, economic and environmental aspects. Pilot farms are sites where integrated production systems are promoted, combining plant and animal production.
Leaders of these local structures as well as general population appreciate these new ways of land exploitation from which they reap the benefits while ensuring natural resources conservation at the same time.
In the village of Iyembe Monene on the road from Mbandaka to Bikoro, where nearly a hundred fish farming ponds have been set up, Alfred Mongu, the president of the Local Development Committee, said: "Everyone is happy with these ponds put in place thanks to WWF. Today fishing in the lake is no longer good. You can fish all night with poor results, but as for the fish ponds we have the guarantee of having fish at will and we can thus let the fish in the lake reproduce again”.
Patrice Bongongo, model farmer in Bikoro, is pleased to testify: "Thanks to the WWF, we exploit the forest in an orderly way, unlike in the past, and we are witnessing the return of certain species of animals that were no longer seen in the surroundings. Children who had never seen monkeys can see them today jumping in the trees near the farm."
Since 2011, 219 Local Development Committees have been established with the support of the WWF and 60 households are involved to date with the pilot farms in the Lake Tumba region. Model farmers are also committed to duplicating the model to five other members of the community.