Project to support the fight against deforestation by establishing community conservation forests managed by indigenous Batwa from South Kiv

Fight against deforestation and climate change as well as the preservation of biodiversity

Photo of Fidele Mbilizi
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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name


Initiative's representative date of birth

10. AUGUST 1982

Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Headquarters location: city


Where are you making a difference?


Website or social media url(s)

Facebook: Mbilizi Mutimanwa Fidèle

Date Started

May 2020

Project Stage

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working toward the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €50k - €100k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

In the areas where this project was carried out, the indigenous peoples are very happy that their forests and lands are protected thanks to the establishment of community forests on their areas long threatened by mining companies and customary and traditional chiefs.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Deforestation and the degradation of soils and forests are the second cause of global warming, of which according to the STERN report, the two factors are at the basis of 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Currently the need to resolve this question dominates the debates both at national and international level through the REDD and carbon market approach. In DR Congo, forest cover is estimated at around 145 million hectares of forests alone comprising more than 50% of the forests of the Congo Bas

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

• Organize awareness and information workshops on REDD + and current challenges in forest management 10 workshops will be organized in 5 forest territories in the provinces of South Kivu where the Pygmy natives live due to 2 workshops per territory. These workshops will bring together the indigenous Pygmy leaders from the various Pygmy sites and camps. They will be given information on threats to forests and the current REDD situation. • Identify and organize participatory mapping of the territories and forest areas of the Bambuti pygmy natives of the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu It will organize an identification of the zones of the big agglomerations of the natives and proceed to the participative cartography of these zones. This activity will be done in 5 phases including: - Training phase in cartography - Prospecting phase - Descent phase on the ground - Production phase - Card validation phase • Establish community conservation forest concessions in the territories of the indigenous Batwa pygmies of the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu • Organize training and information workshops on community forest management

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

We will use the approach called 'Free, Prior and Informed Consent and or informed in CLIP acronym and organize consultation and awareness meetings for the indigenous population.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

We will collaborate with all stakeholders (Aboriginal community and leaders, CSOs, traditional and administrative chiefs, youth organizations and organizations involved in the thematic area.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

The impact is very visible from the fact that the forest concession is secured by an order of the governor or the provincial authority; In the concession there are places suitable for protection and ancestral ceremonies and cultural rites, space reserved for economic activities.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

The main strategy is to have an order issued by the competent authority (provincial governor)

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

Creation of shared value: is the development of economic activities and increase the income of indigenous peoples' households, protection of biodiversity, sacred sites and conservation on lands and forest concessions well secured by the decree of the provincial governor

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Set up a governance and management committee for the forest concession to organize tourist, sports, recreational and scientific visits.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

We have a team that is very experienced in the issue of community forestry and on the problems of indigenous peoples.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Participated in previous Ashoka challenges

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far


Yes, absolutely! - 25%

Yes/maybe - 25%

Maybe - 50%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%


5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 25%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 50%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 25%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 0%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 25%

4- Yes, I think so. - 25%

3- Maybe. - 50%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 25%

3- Maybe. - 50%

2- Probably not. - 25%

1- No. - 0%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 25%

3- Maybe. - 75%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%


5 -Yes, absolutely! - 25%

4- Yes, I think so. - 25%

3- Maybe. - 50%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 25%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 25%

3- Maybe. - 50%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 0%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 100%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 0%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 33.3%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 100%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 0%

Other option - 0%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 100%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 25%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 50%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 75%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 0%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 75%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

Other option - 0%


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