The eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen years of economic and political turmoil, which has impacted the well-being of local communities and threatened the unique biodiversity of the area. Now, a new partnership will promote better livelihoods for local farmers and protect the region’s endemic and critically endangered Grauer’s gorilla.
The Gorilla Coffee Alliance was launched today by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Nespresso; Olam Food Ingredients (OFI); international nonprofits, TechnoServe and the Wildlife Conservation Society; and Congolese social enterprise, Asili. Over five years, this initiative will partner with 8,500 farming households to improve their coffee production and sales and reduce poaching and deforestation around Kahuzi-Biega National Park in DRC’s South Kivu province.
“USAID’s launch of the Gorilla Coffee Alliance is a critical milestone for the U.S. Government’s partnership with the Congolese people and the product of over a decade of USAID’s investment in working alongside Congolese farmers to replant coffee trees in a conflict-ravaged region,” noted USAID DRC Mission Director Paul Sabatine. “Revitalizing DRC’s coffee sector makes me proud to coinvest alongside Nespresso and OFI, particularly given our common desire to promote sustainable livelihoods by protecting Congo’s wildlife and natural resources.”