The Bururi Forest Nature Reserve

IUCN’s latest Digest has a report on the Bururi Forest Nature Reserve in Burundi which was previously considered to be the link between heaven and earth. The ancient Burundians attached great importance to forest conservation, especially mountain forests. Several mountain forests were protected and used as a place of worship, while other forests served as a necropolis for Queen Mothers.

With an area of 3,300 ha, representing 0.1% of Burundi’s surface, the Bururi Forest Nature Reserve (RNFB) is the southernmost part of the forest system of the Congo-Nile Ridge. It is located in the Bururi commune, northwest of Bururi province, on a vast mountain that overlooks the urban center of Bururi.

This reserve is a reservoir of wildlife that still shelters a small population of chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, a species of great primates already in danger throughout Africa.  It is also designated as an important Bird Conservation Area in Burundi because it is home to an important avifauna, including rare and endemic species in the Albertin Rift region, namely Zoothera tanganyicae and Apalis argentea.  In addition to its important role in climate regulation, the RNFB is also providing other benefits, acting for example as a gigantic sponge absorbing water during the rainy season and releasing it during the dry season. Similarly, traditional healers harvest many medicinal species not encountered at the waterfront. It is also a carbon sink and plays an important role in climate regulation.

You can read more about it in the Protected Planet database.

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