A Humble Organization Dedicated to Biodiversity Conservation
Community Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation (CIBIC) is a nonprofit organisation initiated in 2012 by the community members neighbouring BINP led by Mr Tusingwire John Bosco. CIBIC is owned and operated by the local community. CIBIC began as a community-based organisation and later graduated to a non-governmental organisation as per operation permit number 6341 under the Non-Governmental Organisations Act 2016 of the Republic of Uganda.
Tusingwire John Bosco is a native of the Bwindi Community in Kanungu District. His motivation to start CIBIC derived from his own life experiences characterized by poverty, extreme hardship in education due to persistent poverty and occasional hunger. However, through life trials and errors, he was remembered by God in 2004 when he got a generous God-fearing person to sponsor his education on a diploma level up to 2007, and another one to further his education at the University of Makerere doing a degree in agricultural land use and management, from 2009 to 2012 through tourism activities in Bwindi.
While John was at the university after his first year, he got a vision of rewarding the conservation of the mountain gorillas as a way to end poverty, hunger and malnutrition in the communities adjacent to the park. John wishes that the new generations should not taste his life experience when he was still young (5-25 years of age). This is the reason while he mobilized other community members to come up together as a team and have CIBIC started and running to further enhancement of his dream.
Therefore, CIBIC was formed to empower local communities neighbouring national parks to reduce conservation threats and contribute to nature conservation through sustainable agriculture for alternative sources of food and income as opposed to poaching. CIBIC empowerment activities include conservation benefit education and awareness, operating learning centres and field demonstration gardens for training and supporting beneficiaries in the sustainable farming of fish, mushrooms, vegetables, fruits and small animal rearing and providing agricultural consulting services remotely to farmer members.
CIBIC also enables farmer’s access to local produce markets and tourism lodges. CIBIC established new markets to local tourism lodges for local food purchases, replacing food previously purchased in the cities and outside countries. This opportunity allows local farmers to enjoy the benefit of nature conservation hence allowing them to voluntarily conserve it. CIBIC’s goal is to establish an environment where humanity and nature are in harmony.
CIBIC is located in Buhoma Village, Kayonza Sub County, and Kanungu District in southwestern Uganda. It also operates a cooperative society partnership that is registered under the name Reformed Poachers and Batwa Farmers’ Cooperative Society Limited. The organisation is working with reformed poacher families including men and women and their children from around the national parks. CIBIC also works with indigenous communities like the Batwa pygmies of Bwindi. Our activities cut across all age groups.
The primary beneficiaries of this project are 1,004 Batwa Pygmies whose lives traditionally depended on the forest for food gathering and hunting before their eviction. Also 296 women and 201 reformed poachers in communities neighbouring the national park in Kanungu District and 2,000 youth from five schools in communities neighbouring Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks.
Who We Serve
Community Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation is currently serving over 3500 people in the southwestern corner of Uganda. The organisation is located 12 hours of drive from Kampala, the capital on poor roads, and also one and a half km from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park headquarters and two kilometres from the Democratic Republic of Congo border. Many people here are subsistence farmers and live below $1/day.
In particular, we serve the Batwa pygmies, reformed poachers and women living around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Though the conditions seem to be tough, what we see at CIBIC is people who are energetic, proud, strong, caring and giving even when it seems there is nothing left to give. They are people who are determined to improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their families.
We help them to organize into groups and empower them with the knowledge, skills and resources, necessary to transform their livelihoods. We also help to reduce the stigma of already stressed landless people through providing them jobs on the farm, keeping them socially active working with others in village organised groups, have constant access to nutritious foods such as mushrooms that help in boosting their body’s immunity, a good alternative to bushmeat and other wild edibles.
Meet the Team
Community Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation works with reformed poachers, local women and Batwa as employees and currently, the number is 35. These are energetic women and men who work tirelessly to improve their lives and the lives of others while offering much-needed services in the community.
The organisation is headed by the executive director Mr Tusingwire John Bosco who owns a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural land use and management, assisted by a tourism assistant that welcomes visitors and guides them through our activities other five technocrats. The rest are local ex-poachers, women and Batwa with special needs the organisation has trained on the farm.
The organisation is proud to have recruited such vulnerable community people and empowered them to be helpful and rather resourceful in that special way and we consider ourselves to be a modal organisation in that regard.
Our staff members are our most valuable resource; they help us to achieve the work that we do. The organisation has the desire to recruit more professional manpower on the team and continue adding more local people to the list of services in order to reduce increasing stigma and make more grassroots people feel the ownership of nature and biodiversity conservation.
This is still a challenge because the organisation is not yet stable financially and many would love to work in the city doing off-farm jobs. We plan to improve on the attraction by increasing the working environment, pay salaries on time, provide accommodation for workers, focus on teaching, promoting staff who perform better and invest in local people through providing scholarships for them so that when they graduate they can come back and work with us.
We continue to invest in our staff by training them, providing them with lunch and organizing team building, get together parties. Our goal is to recruit people with a desire to stay and to help others.
News and Events
CIBIC recently supported the community organized groups using the support grant from Rufford small grant for nature conservation. About five groups each composed of Fifteen to Twenty people were involved in this event. Our selection criterion was that for a group to be considered for an award, it must meet the following requirements; be registered with the government, be already doing some activities or planning to start, be willing to keep pigs communally and be willing to come for training and also welcome the training team in their group. Typically the program targeted groups that are Reformed poacher, Batwa Pygmies initiated, woman lead and youth initiatives.
On 26th November 2013 all the groups had been selected, trained and given information about the benefits for conservation of nature, so they were given their pig pairs on that day. Currently the organisation is carrying out a monitoring exercise, but the findings from the field is that women groups perform better than other groups Batwa Pygmies have the second position while the youth perform poorly compared to the rest. Congratulations to Bukyuragizi Women’s group.
We continue to boost the groups that are doing better with high levels of success and encourage those whose performance is low. This is done through developing mutual relationships, learning things together and trying new methods and ideas. We provide additional technical support, and materialistic inputs are provided to unlock any challenges that may limit them to go to the next level.
Winning the 2014 SEED Award
In 2014 CIBIC also won Africa SEED AWARD under sustainable mushroom farming enterprise. CIBIC was recognized because of its entrepreneurial and innovative idea that is locally-driven and has great potential to contribute to sustainable development enterprises which have the potential to make real improvements in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability while contributing to a greener economy. From 9-11 September 2014, Mr Tusingwire John Bosco the founding director for CIBIC attended and participated in the high-level symposium that was held in Nairobi Kenya. SEED Initiatives is an initiative of UNEP IUCN and UNDP
The organisation is very blessed to have such an energetic and active team on the board that helps in strategic planning for effective and timely implementation of the organisation activities.
CIBIC works with reformed poacher families, including men and women and their children from around the national parks. CIBIC also works with indigenous communities like the Batwa pygmies of Bwindi. Our activities cut across all age groups.
The primary beneficiaries are the more than a thousand Batwa Pygmies whose lives traditionally depended on the forest for food gathering and hunting before their eviction. Also nearly 300 women, 201 reformed poachers, and 2,000 youth from five schools in communities neighbouring Bwindi and Mgahinga National parks.
We currently have 35 employees. We continue to invest in our staff through training, organizing team building, and providing meals. Our goal is to recruit people with a desire to stay and to help others.
Sam Kajojo, Patron
Chairman Local Council 5 Kanungu. Responsible for overall political leadership for Kanungu District.
Caleb Kahima Tusime, Chairman
Former conservation officer, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Chairman for Buhoma Community Sacco.
Keneth Turyamubona, Vice Chairman
Former Batwa Development Program coordinator in Uganda.
Gloria Tushemerirwe, Secretary and Co-Founder
Prominent local farmer, independent entrepreneur who provides sustainable foods for the locals.
Yonah Twesigye, Vice Secretary
Field manager, Kayonza Growers Tea Factory. Responsible for local consumption and global export production.
Jemimah Orikyiriza, Treasurer
Former accountant for local NGO Buhoma Mukono Development Association.
Christopher Tumwesigye, missioner for Kyeshero Church of Uganda
Mugyenyi Sadayo, reformed poacher and key mobilizer
Barbra Mugisha, community conservation warden for Bwindi National Park
John Bosco Tusingwire, founding director
Community Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation welcomes the opportunity for volunteers to come and share their skills with our staff and for farmers to learn. For sustainability, we want to work and retain quality workers from Uganda.
Our space for overseas volunteers is vacant; we are interested in volunteers with skills in organic farming majoring in vegetables, fish, poultry, piggery, bees and mushroom production. Volunteers with additional skills in fundraising, community agriculture and extension are welcome. Please you are encouraged to contact us at email@example.com
Mr.Johnbosco Tusingwire-Founding executive Director
+256(0) 782 657 007
Mr.Kaleb Kahima Tusiime-Chairman
+256(0) 772 856 649
Mrs.Gloria Tushemereirwe-General Secretary
+256(0) 781 869 055