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The Ambassador of Kingdom of The Netherlands in Uganda, Jeroen Verheul concluded his 3-day visit of GVTC activities stating that he is impressed by the work carried out by GVTC through a 4-year funding by Dutch Government International Support-DGIS .

This visit started in Rwanda on the 1st of November 2011. In an interview with the GVTC communication department, H. E Jeroen Verheul said that he came on field to see the progress of activities that they funded through DGIS.

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Ambassador greeting a Mutwa Guide to the Batwa Trail in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

During his visit, the Ambassador visited several initiatives in Rwanda like Kinigi Community Commercial Complex Centre, Kinigi bamboo crafts workshop, Nyange and Gatagarama bamboo nurseries, Musanze Bee keeping union collection and packaging centre. In Uganda : Batwa trail tourism in Mgahinga Gorilla National park, Ndego water harvesting tank and Rwerere community enterprise centre.

Accompanied by GVTC Executive Secretary, he was explained how the visited projects aim at improved livelihood of Virunga landscape neighboring communities, who have been depending directly or indirectly on the parks.

H.E Ambassador lauded what has been done through the four year funding: “Am very much impressed by the performance of the project” commended the Ambassador. He said that the progress is visible not only in physical infrastructure but also in terms of the beneficiaries like Batwa community which benefits through the Batwa Trail tourism.

He recommended the GVTC management to consider focusing on the themes of peace building and security as well as food security which are two of the four key areas of focus for Netherlands Development assistance. Specifically areas of cross border tourism, disease control, peace building, coordinated patrols, support to cross border cross-fertilization and sharing of experiences, insecurity and poaching.

While the DGIS 4-year funds to GVTC end with this year, the Ambassador vowed more assistance to the collaboration of the three countries because natural resources don’t have boundaries: “We need to revisit the idea behind the project…we need to preserve the support for the collaboration because it is very clear that this collaboration brings benefits” He said.

The Ambassador indicated that he will liaise with his counterpart in Kigali to agree on the possible funding for GVTC but focusing on transboundary collaboration.