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The Virunga massif region is one of the most dynamic and diverse in Africa and the world. Here, amazing flora and fauna thrive alongside the local communities who call the region home. Since our founding in 2013, the Red Rocks Initiative for Sustainable Development has been working with communities surrounding the Virunga massif in the nations of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through our programs, we’ve empowered local youth and women with the skills and knowledge they need to live healthier lives and to earn a living using the talents that make their communities unique.
Here at the Red Rocks Initiative, we recognize that the most valuable resources within the Virunga massif are the land itself and the people who live there. As such, we’ve focused our efforts on creating programs and opportunities that bring these two elements into harmony and balance. Through sustainable tourism programs and environmental conservation efforts, we hope to build peace, economic opportunities, and lasting relationships with the environment and those who live within it.
What is Sustainable Tourism?
In short, sustainable tourism is a commitment to minimizing the impact on the environment and local cultures within a given location, while also creating opportunities for employment and economic growth for a given community. This form of tourism prevents cycles of dependence and exploitation that can disrupt the established ways of living in a region. This ultimately ensures that communities are allowed to develop their sense of community and identity in a way that is in keeping with their values, rather than create a commercial narrative that appeals to outside interests only.
Why Does Community Conservation Matter?
When the land itself is a region’s most precious resource, it is vital to create a sense of communal care and responsibility for it. In this case, Red Rocks promotes community conservation programs because it ensures that local groups are stewards for the natural landscape as well as its greatest champions. This means that the local flora and fauna within the Virunga massif are maintained, creating avenues for further research and sustainable tourism opportunities.
How You Can Help
Of course, our work cannot be done without your assistance. While our work may be localized to this particular region within Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, we believe that this is truly a global effort. We can better help the local communities in the Virunga massif regions with the support of your donations.
Your donations not only make the Virunga massif a more vibrant place to live but also help the global community as a whole. Through your donations, our work, and the volunteer abroad programs we’ve established, we can achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development set forth by the United Nations.