Environmental Sustainability

Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo's emphasis on environmental sustainability reaches across disciplines and incorporates hand-on care for local ecosystems. In their DRC Realities course, students explore consequences of environmental degradation and begin to formulate practical responses. UCBC encourages students to continue personal and community reflections on these themes by providing opportunity for engagement in sustainable agriculture and other environmental initiatives. Students are involved with caring for the University Peace Gardens, which grows crops for students and community use. UCBC is purchasing goats to supplement the gardens and provide milk for the local community. As students learn about basic livestock care and gardening, they develop an appreciation for their environment and an emphasis on local food systems.

UCBC relies on solar power to support its satellite internet connection and continues to explore alternative forms of energy to generate power on campus.

UCBC views environmental sustainability as critical to the long-term health of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Congo is home to the largest remaining tropic rainforest in Africa, covering 100 million hectares. But the country faces significant environmental challenges: as natural resource extraction continues to fuel conflict, the government has not succeeded in implementing standards for sustainable logging. With a road under construction through the heart of Congo's rain-forests, some worry that rates of deforestation and resource extraction will heighten.

Initiatives in Progress

UCBC continues to explore new ways of achieving its vision of a being a green campus with capacity of energy production for self-sufficiency and community use. Additional environmental initiatives under progress will generate significant environmental benefits over the long-term:

Agroforestry - UCBC plans to implement its Agroforestry Initiative, which will represent the second stage in the development of the University Peace Gardens. UCBC designs to expand the types of crops produced in addition to planting indigenous trees. Agroforestry draws on the benefits of combining trees and shrubs with plants to maximize nutrients in the soil and generate increased productivity. UCBC's Agroforestry Initiative will expand opportunities to raise livestock on campus, contributing to the milk supply available for students and community members.

Reforestry and Lumber Production Program - North Kivu and surrounding areas extending into Uganda are in a construction boom. To ensure that demand for lumber is met sustainably, UCBC plans to launch a Reforestation and Lumber Production Program.This project will be committed to planting more trees than it will harvest, and will use only species of trees indigenous to Congo. Potential revenue from lumber production will be used toward a student scholarship fund and to support the University’s Language Institute. Both the Agroforestry and Reforestry Initiatives create opportunities to educate students on sustainable land-use systems.

Alternative Energy - Solar power has remarkable potential in the Congo, and in Beni in particular. UCBC hopes to invest in additional solar panels to generate power on campus, and is continuing to explore additional solutions for renewable energy. Students in the Faculty of Applied Sciences conduct hydroelectricity analyses to assess potential for energy production through a system of on-campus dams.