OUR OBJECTIVES1. Restore and maintain the integrity of Virunga National Park
2. Find alternative solutions to deforestation
3. Ensure environmental education.
The EcoMakala project aims to satisfy the energy needs of rural populations around Virunga, by producing charcoal (makala in local language Swahili) sustainably.
Traditionally, people enter the park in order to harvest wood and transform it into charcoal. The EcoMakala project has helped taking pressure off the natural forests by planting fast-growing trees in woodlots, thus giving local populations an alternative fuel source.
Over 20 million trees have been planted so far. The associated improved stoves project is popularizing energy-efficient stoves, reducing charcoal consumption. This reduces the need for wood, with a resulting reduction in CO2 emissions.
The Virunga programme is also active in implementing land-use plans and managing community forests in collaboration with other WWF partners.