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A group of men with tools poses for the camera and stands in the shade of a tree.

The trail rehabilitation crew pose for a photo before heading out for a day of work on the Nyiragongo Volcano trail in Virunga National Park in April 2018. The U.S. Forest Service International Programs, supported by USAID’s Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment, is working with Virunga National Park and local communities to improve tourist hiking trails as well as create a more accessible educational trail up the volcano. This new trail has a low gradient, which will allow local school groups to climb the volcano to promote environmental stewardship. In addition, due to its route, the new trail will also help rangers dissuade illegal charcoal and poaching operations in the park. Building capacity of national park staff to promote ecotourism not only improves visitor experience and creates economic opportunities for neighboring communities, but also puts the park on track for long-term financial stability, an essential step in the long-term protection of these landscapes, and the preservation of the forests within them.

Building educational trails in Virunga National Park

Copyright © 2019 Olivia Freeman, U.S. Forest Service International Programs

Topics Education, Conflict and Governance

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