Welcome to our New Partner "Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration”!




The Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration officially joins the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP)


Kigali (Rwanda), May 27th 2014 – The Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) andto abide by the CBFP cooperation framework to advance sustainable management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa.




Dr. Muamba Tshibasu Georges, Executive Secretary is convinced that the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) can share its valuable experience as transboundary collaboration’s  initiative developed during a period of armed conflict and will benefit from interaction with the Partnership to advance recognition of its transboundary model for effective cooperation.



   Dr Muamba Tshibasu Georges, GVTC Executive Secretary


In addition, the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) has just concluded a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between ICGLR, CEPGL and GVTC for a synergistic action on peace, security, conservation and development.


About : Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration


The Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration is a mechanism for strategic, sustainable transboundary, collaborative management of the Greater Virunga Landscape.


Set up by ICCN( Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo , RDB ( Rwanda Development Board by then ORTPN) in Rwanda and UWA ( Uganda Wildlife Authority) in Uganda with their partners in the region, it started with rangers collaboration to protect mountain gorillas in Mgahinga, Bwindi, Virunga and Volcanoes National Parks. Later it expanded its scope to include tourism, community conservation and research and monitoring.  It is considered  today as an appropriate and effective response to recurrent threats  that affect negatively  the rich and abundant natural resources sheltered by a network of protected areas located in the Greater Virunga landscape , Integral part of the Central Albertine Rift . This covers the northwestern of Rwanda, the part of the eastern of the DR Congo and the part of the southern and south -western of Uganda.


It is very important to point out that this region is referred to as '' hot spot '' qualifying that landscape as one of greatest cradle of biodiversity in the world and the largest in the African continent.–


It comprises of three  world heritage sites : National Park of Virunga in DR Congo,   Rwenzori National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. There are also two sites MAB : Queen Elisabeth National Park in Uganda and National Volcano Park in Rwanda but also it is important to mention the existence  of Ramsar sites:  Lake George  and Lake Eduard.


This Landscape is characterized by a particular high levels of endemism of species of fauna and flora , endangered rare species , an exceptional concentration of mammals, amphibians and birds as well as the beautiful African mountain landscape.


Since 2008, the Executive Secretariat is headquartered in Kigali to coordinate and link stakeholders on behalf of the Protected Area Authorities through a 10 years Transboundary Strategic Plan 2006-2016 as it has been revised in 2013 ( 2013-2018).  GVTC has been recognized  as a legal entity with a Headquarter in Kigali from December 2013, by the  signing of the Headquarter Agreement between the Government of Rwanda through the          Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation  and the GVTC        Executive Secretariat.




From the informal interactions of park staff across borders to the pending legalization of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration, there are many milestones in transboundary collaboration:


♦ 2014: Signature of a Tripartite MoU between International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR),  Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries ( CEPGL) and the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration ( GVTC).

♦ 2013: Revised Five-Year Transboundary Strategic Plan ( 2013-2018).

♦ 2013: Headquater Agreement signed between the Govenrment of the Republic of Rwanda and the Executive Secretariat of GVTC which recognizes the later as an Intergovernmental agency.

♦ 2011: Legalization of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration through a treaty signed by the Heads of State of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. This milestone is in the process, but pending signatures.

♦  2009: Institutionalization of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration by the Inter-Ministerial Board.

♦ 2008: Rubavu Ministerial Declaration for the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration.

♦ 2008: Establishment of a fully functioning Executive Secretariat, temporarily based in Kigali, to coordinate the implementation of the 10-Year Transboundary Strategic Plan.

♦ 2007: Procurement of four years of funding from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to implement the transboundary collaboration and support revenue sharing and conservation enterprises across the Greater Virunga Landscape.

♦ 2006: 10-Year Transboundary Strategic Plan (2006-2016) authorizing the establishment of a permanent secretariat.

♦ 2005: Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Revenue Sharing from the Transboundary Gorilla Tourism Groups.

♦ 2005: Tripartite Ministerial Declaration of Goma on the Transboundary Natural Resources Management of the Transfrontier Protected Area Network of the Central Albertine Rift.

♦ 2004: Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the three Protected Area Authorities on the Collaborative Conservation of the Central Albertine Rift Transfrontier Protected Area Network.




The GVTC is guided by a ten-year strategic plan as it was revised in 2013, as well as a five-year implementation plan which sets as a goal the improved conservation of species, habitats, and ecological services contributing to increased socio-economic benefits, through effective transboundary collaboration.


The Executive Secretariat is mandated to raise funds on behalf of the three protected areas to support transboundary initiatives. Currently, the Executive Secretariat is implementing a four-year project funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands specific for enhancing transboundary collaboration, revenue sharing mechanisms and community enterprises.


As dictated by the current strategic plan, the geographical parameters for the work of the GVTC include the transboundary ecosystem of the Central Albertine Transfrontier Protected Area Network shared by eight protected areas including: Parc National des Virunga and Sarambwe Nature Reserve in DRC; Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, Semuliki National Park and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.




The GVTC has formulated its vision for the next thirty years as follows: “The Central Albertine Rift Transfrontier Protected Area network together with surrounding landscape and natural resources are conserved sustainably“.



Sustainable Conservation of Greater Virunga Biodiversity ensured while contributing to long term socio-economic development through the collaborative transboundary management. ''


Objectives of the Collaboration

♦  Collaboration for improved transboundary conservation of natural resources
♦  Ensuring improved and coordinated landscape level planning and management of natural resources
♦  Sharing of skills and expertise
♦  Benefit and cost sharing across borders
♦  Ensuring all encompassing research and information management



♦ The foundation of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration is founded on transboundary teams working from the political and policy level to technical level.
♦  Council of Ministers(policy level)
♦ Transboundary Core Secretariat(Decision level)
♦ Transboundary Executive Secretariat(Executive level)

Regional committees(Technical advices level)



Welcome to our New Partner " Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) ”!


For more Information, please contact Mr. Vincent Mukwege Buhendwa, Communication Officer at GVTC or Juvenal MUKESHIMANA, Executive Secretary Assistant Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) jmukeshimana@greatervirunga.org, and consult the Official website of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC): http://www.greatervirunga.org/?lang=en


Images credits: GVTC

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