Strong Roots focuses on conservation and sustainable development through educating and empowering the local and indigenous communities that live in the region of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP) in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). While working to find and achieve local solutions to environmental issues in partnership with other Community Based Organizations, universities as well as national research and conservation institutions, Strong Roots empowers local and indigenous communities by providing knowledge, tools and the opportunities to create for themselves a sustainable way of life while also supporting KBNP’s (and surrounding forests’) long term preservation.
The Health and Conservation Program focuses on crop production and food security with a particular component on environmental conservation. It includes breeding animals and sustainable land management in farming projects, to address the land degradation and the poaching activities in the protected areas. The program develops a Community Health project working to support health infrastructures in the area as well as an epidemiological study with a particular focus on anthropozoonoses (diseases which can be transferred between animals and humans); in partnership with the Research Center in Natural Sciences (CRSN-Lwiro) and the National Institute of Agricultural Research and Study (INERA-Mulungu).
Retraining of Miners: For the last 15 years, illegal mining has been recorded as the main threat faced by the gorillas’ survival in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park as well the main source of conflict n DRC. Strong Roots is working with miners and former miners through community based organizations and mining co-ops to provide them with alternatives livelihoods to tackle illegal mining in the protected areas.