NEW! AZE partner BioConserve was created to bring together conservation minds from various social sectors to develop strategies for sustainable ecosystem services in the eastern Congo, particularly in the AZE site Kahuzi-Biega National Park and the surrounding landscape. Courtesy of BioConserve In this region, extensive deforestation and forest degradation have caused an overwhelming havoc on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, the natural increase of human populations has led to the clearing of natural forests for conversion to agriculture and human settlements. In many of these rural areas, even the once available small patches of natural vegetation have been wiped out. As a result, the only remaining native forests are located in protected areas, while the landscape outside of protected areas is dominated by introduced tree species, such as eucalyptus. BioConserve works to restore forests in villages surrounding the AZE site, starting with areas along rivers to protect watersheds. They have constructed plant nurseries to grow native tree seedlings for restoration activities and have established Plant Conservation Sites for reforestation to ensure the conservation of plant species in the long term and to serve as a potential genetic pool for future restoration activities. AZE Partner profile: BioConserve works to restore degraded forests around the Kahuzi-BiegaAZE site in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Support BioConserve. BioConserve also works to conservation pollinators, especially bees, considering the importance of pollination activities in the maintenance of biological diversity and their positive impact on agriculture. Their beekeeping project generates income for both BioConserve’s conservation activities and for people in local communities.