Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC)
Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC)
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Welcome to the Greater Virunga Landscape (GVL). The Greater Virunga Landscape is abound with both terrestrial and aquatic resources and is the richest part of the African Continent in biodiversity species, including those that are endemic and endangered that cut across an imaginary transboundary line across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda.

It is a home to over 5164 species of mammals (including 27 Primates and 40 ungulate species), birds, amphibians, reptiles and plants. It is a home to the World’s remaining Mountain Gorillas’ population. More than 50% of birds, 39%% of mammals, 19% amphibians and 14% of reptiles and plants of mainland Africa are found within this region.

The GVL’s forested and mountainous nature makes it a transboundary water resources tower.
The transboundary wildlife and water (covering both surface water and groundwater) resources in GVL, presents opportunities for regional cooperation, development and management of tourism to support socio-economic development. The GVL’s richness in flora and fauna, scenic beauty, rivers, waterfalls, diverse rock types, glaciers and snow-capped peaks (on the Karisimbi and Rwenzori mountains) and high potential for ecosystem services give the landscape a unique geographical, heritage and biodiversity importance. This is highlighted through the special conservation status of several sites within GVL:

World Heritage Sites: a total of 960,079 ha and accounting for 95% of the total GVL area and comprising: Virunga, Bwindi and Rwenzori National Parks (Conservation Status Report, 2017);
Ramsar sites (Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori National Parks);
Man and Biosphere reserves (Queen Elizabeth and Volcanoes National Parks), and
Important Bird Areas (IBA) and Endemic Bird Areas (Rwenzori National park).

Prior to the 2015 Treaty that established GVTC as an Interstate Institution, GVTC was a mechanism for Strategic Transboundary Collaborative Management of Greater Virunga Landscape set up by the national institutions in charge of wildlife conservation in DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda – the Institut Congolais Pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), Office Rwandais du Tourisme et des Parcs Nationaux (ORTPN) which later transformed into Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) respectively. These Institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2004 in order to formalize the cross border collaboration initiated in late 1990s by the field personnel in the three countries and aiming at coordinating the monitoring of the population of the Mountain Gorillas that is thriving within the Virunga Massif, shared by the three countries. Also, this MOU expanded the geographical scope beyond the gorilla habitat to the entire Central Albertine Rift Region, also known as the GVL.

The GVTC formalization and legitimization process evolved in several steps through Ministerial declarations as an expression of the three Countries to strengthen this collaboration and this culminated into signing of a Treaty on 30th October 2015 in Kampala, Uganda. It is this treaty that establishes GVTC as an interstate Institution, a fully functioning Executive Secretariat of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration is established in Kigali, Republic of Rwanda and drives the day-to-day transboundary collaboration activities.

The GVTC treaty was a unique bottom-up process that took 25 years. The 25-year journey was facilitated by International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) and then fast trucked by ICGLR and CEPGL following a tripartite MoU signed between GVTC and the two institutions in 2014.

Thanks to the Governments of the three Partner States for the will of collaborating to sustainably conserve the shared resources within the GVL. Appreciation to the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands which supported financially this initiative since the beginning at more than 90%, Thanks to the various conservation and Tourism partners and stakeholders working tirelessly to conserve this landscape for Generations. Your good action towards this cause, makes a difference.


Our Vision
The Central Albertine Rift Transfrontier Protected Area network together with surrounding landscape conserved sustainably

Our Goals
Sustainable conservation of the Central Albertine Rift biodiversity for long term socio-economic development through strategic transboundary collaborative 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(Implementation level)
Transboundary Executive Secretariat(Technical level)

The mandate of GVTC as enshrined in the GVTC Treaty (Article 6: are the following:
to promote and coordinate conservation of biodiversity and related socio-cultural values within the Greater Virunga Protected Areas Network;
to develop strategies for collaborative management of biodiversity;
to promote and ensure coordinated planning, monitoring and evaluation of implementation of transboundary conservation and development Programmes;
to promote and coordinate tourism development Programmes in the Greater Virunga Landscape;
to secure sustainable funding for collaborative management of the Transboundary Protected Area Network to promote biodiversity conservation and tourism development in the Greater Virunga Landscape;
to enhance and harmonize the generation and sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices for evidence based decision making;
to promote and support safety and security of wildlife resources and tourists within the Greater Virunga Landscape; and
to engage in any other activity for attainment of the Treaty’s objectives.

Company Information
Contact Name: Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC)
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Contact Phone: +250788573965
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