Rwanda’s Red Rocks Cultural Centre steps up conservation awareness campaign
Red Rocks Cultural Centre in Rwanda has stepped up efforts to raise awareness about the significance of the Virunga Massif
Red Rocks Cultural Centre has stepped up efforts to raise awareness about the significance of the Virunga Massif – home to the endangered mountain gorillas – a move that aims to promote sustainable tourism, conservation and community development.
By engaging local communities around the Volcanoes, Mgahinga and Virunga national parks, Red Rocks hopes to help improve people’s livelihoods and generally curtail poverty. The Musanze-based social enterprise has initiated various programmes that aim to engage the local community in public talks and debates.
To achieve its goals, Red Rocks is involving gorilla trackers and forest guides to engage the local community and visitors in healthy talks and debates. Mountain gorilla trackers in the Virunga Massif play a key role in advancement of conservation and tourism as they keep track of the primates’ movement patterns, habitat protection and records of population demographics. Furthermore, they are indispensable in preventing rampant poaching by removing snares and preventing general illegal wildlife activities within the national parks.
Red Rocks is tapping into the wealth of information that is possessed by gorilla trackers and forest guides to share it with guests during these interactions. The talks and debates have multiple management applications, including introduction to research and community tourism development initiatives.
“The main goal of these talks is to ensure that the tourist who visits mountain gorillas – as well as other well-wishers – get a better understanding of conservation and community tourism around the Virunga Massif,” says Greg Bakunzi, founder of Red Rocks Cultural Centre.
This programme is complementary for visiting tourists, conservationists, biologists and/or researchers, Bakunzi says, adding that under this programme his organization seeks to instill the global green village approach that embraces better livelihood techniques that conserve the environment.
“This model is centered on four pillars: sustainability, community development, environmental protection and economic development,” he says.
More information: www.redrocksrwanda.com