The research work was carried out at the National Park of Rusizi / Palm plantation area. The overall objective of the study is to elucidate the impacts of human activities on plant communities of the Rusizi Park especially the palm conservation sector.
The identification on plant communities with systematic sampling was carried out in the plots of the transect of vegetation dynamics observation and in the cotton fields at CABIZA. A socio-economic survey was carried out on a sample of 61 adults (≥20 years) from Buringa and Gihanga sectors, who were interviewed in daytime. The questions concerned mainly plant resources harvested and their uses as well as certain species of trees of socio-economic value. Data processing and analysis were done in Excel and SPSS. A map of activities in the palm plantation area was developed by using the ArcGis software.
Species such as Balanitesaegyptiaca, Acacia albida, Acacia polyacantha, CommiphoramadagascariensisandHyphaenepetersiana have irregular and unstable structures. Plant resources harvested by local residents used for energy purposes of 28.7 % and 28% in Buringa and Gihanga sectors, respectively. A use in construction is estimated at 16.5% in Buringa while it amounts to 24.6% in Gihanga. Food uses represents 18.7% at Buringa and 19.2% at Gihanga. Medicinal uses represent 23% at Buringa and 19.2% at Gihanga. Lastly, these artisanal uses of these species represent 13.1% at Buringa and 9% at Gihanga. The above mentioned examples are a clear evidence of the impact of human activities in the park.
And, if alternative solutions are not undertaken, this may end in rather problems situation.
Key words: Anthropogenic activities, protected area, Impact, plant communities, Burundi