Union of Associations for the Conservation of Gorillas and Community Development in Eastern DRC (UGADEC), North Kivu

UGADEC is registered as an NGO with the national government.


Goma, North Kivu province
UGADEC works in North Kivu and Maniema provinces, with particular interests in Walikale and Lubero territories in North Kivu, and in Lubutu and Punia territories in Maniema province.

Sectors of Intervention

Environment and natural resources; community development


UGADEC (Union des associations de conservation des gorilles pour le développement Communautaire a l’est de la RDCongo) formed in 2002 to unite several groups working on conservation and development in the Virunga National Park area. The roots of the project date back earlier, when the traditional authorities of the Batangi and Bamate communities in Lubero territory executed a community project for the creation of the Tayna Gorilla Reserve in Virunga National Park. This project was a great success because it mixed conservation and development objectives. Many other traditional authorities were impressed and became inspired to take an active role in the conservation of the nature in the park. Eight member groups came together to form UGADEC, which now oversees nine nature reserves (five are in Walikale territory, one in Lubero territory, and three in Maniema province). UGADEC has worked with several international organizations, including The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, the Jane Goodall Institute, and Global Conservation Fund.


Promote the protection of natural resources—particularly gorillas—and carry out community projects that enforce and encourage the sustainability of nature and the reserves



  • Promote the protection of primates and sensitize local authorities and communities about the environment and conservation
  • Implement projects of community interest
  • Promote socioeconomic projects in eastern DRC
  • Create a reserve corridor from Maiko National Park to Kahuzi-Biega National Park


Populations Served

Women and children and the community at large living around the reserves



  • Fund-raising: UGADEC links local organizations and funders, and plays a significant role in lobbying on behalf of its member associations. This helps it raise funds for implementing the organizations that work at the grassroots.
  • Monitoring and evaluation: UGADEC ensures close monitoring and evaluation of the implementing partners for the purposes of efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Research: UGADEC carries out community research on the existing ecosystem, gorillas, and other rare species. UGADEC sensitizes the community about species protection, organizes community-monitoring teams, and controls against poaching.
  • Community education: UGADEC organizes community education about nature conservation for schools, churches, and other influential community institutions. The goal is to get local communities and leaders to take an active role in conservation. UGADEC also uses the radio and billboards to reach as many people as possible.
  • Community development: UGADEC builds, rehabilitates, and equips schools and hospitals, and facilitates the payment of the teachers in particular schools. It also takes an active role in the identification and construction of water points.



The supreme governing body is the general assembly, otherwise known as the “congress,” which meets every year. The general assembly sets the overall programs and goals for UGADEC, and appoints the board of directors. The board meets every three months and closely monitors UGADEC’s financial, administrative, and programmatic functioning. The board has a monitoring committee that meets once every six months to review UGADEC’s operations and conduct an annual internal audit. UGADEC has 20 permanent employees.

UGADEC has an account at Access Bank in Goma. For financial, administrative, and personnel management, UGADEC has:


  • A procedures manual with policies for financial management; hiring and personnel issues; antuterized accounting system: YES
  • A clearly defined accounting process: YES
  • Clear procedures for management of payroll, petty cash, procurement, and disbursements: YES
  • Staff with the technical expertise to undertake projects: YES




  • Very competent employees
  • Community trust through connections with traditional authorities and community development projects
  • Employment creation and harmonious working climate in a multicultural dynamic
  • Recognized and appreciated by both international and national authorities




  • More diverse and greater funding to sustain its programs
  • Creation of a UGADEC trust fund
  • Transport and logistics equipment
  • Capacity building for the staff


Funders and Budget

UGADEC’s annual budget is approximately $450,000. Funders include The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, CARPE (Programme régional pour la conservation en Afrique centrale), the Jane Goodall Institute, and the Global Conservation Fund. ICCN provides technical support to UGADEC and ensures training for the organization’s capacity building.



  • Ensures patrolling of three-quarters of the protected areas and has identified all the major animal species living in those areas
  • Has created two national reserves since 2006, and two more are under development
  • Has saved the lives of seven gorillas that are now kept in a rehabilitation center
  • Conducted two scientific surveys at Tayna Gorilla Reserve
  • Created a university in Lubero with five majors and faculties relative to nature conservation, which has graduated 300 people to date
  • Built a hydroelectric dam to serve the university and the surrounding community in Lubero
  • Constructed seven health centers to increase community access to primary health care
  • Constructed 12 water points
  • Constructed and equipped five schools


Organizational Vision

Make all nine reserves areas of attraction for tourism. Also, increase the local population’s access to basic services such as education, health, and housing.

Project Proposals


  • Community conservation education: In four strategic points in North Kivu and Maniema, UGADEC aims to educate and raise awareness among communities in regard to the conservation of natural resources. This project will also serve to document and monitor all of the UGADEC community conservation initiatives in the area. Cost: $130,000 (over two years)
  • Community development via construction of schools: In the Lubutu and Walikale territories, UGADEC will build two primary schools out of durable materials. Cost: $150,000 (over 18 months)
  • Participatory mapping of protected areas: UGADEC will work with local communities to clearly identify and mark the boundaries of seven protected areas in North Kivu and eastern Maniema. This program will contribute to changing community behavior toward natural resources and a reduction of conflicts between local communities and environmental organizations. Cost: $125,000



Alexis Kalinda Salumu, coordinator, and Mwami Mukosasenge, president, +243.995.464.451,,

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