There is need of working together to save the threatened species
The eastern DRC is facing armed crisis for about three decades now. Protected areas are among the vulnerable areas as they are used by armed groups as their shelter and source of food and income.
Virunga National park is suffering from that as a consequence of armed conflicts. The different armed groups in Eastern DRC have found their refuge into the Park and depend on its resources.
Main damage concerns:
- Poaching and massive killing of fauna:
this April; about 14 elephants have been killed by armed groups
in 2006, about 400 hippos have been killed by armed groups
number of Kobs are killed daily
charcoal making and illegal timber trade
- restricting access to park surveillance:
some of the armed groups have created some networks to facilitate illegal fishing in the Lake
they don’t allow rangers and conservation actors to access the area
they are allowing cultivation into the protected area
there are some gunshots exchange between rangers and armed groups
- illegal wildlife trafficking
In order to get the issue solved or reduced, there have been several initiatives at political and military levels to try some solutions:
Involve the army to support rangers and organize joint patrols in different areas
Involve different stakeholders from various areas to help conservation dedicated organizations to protect the park
Create some local networks to gather information about the different areas occupied by armed groups
Support park rangers in their daily patrols and provide them field equipments
All these activities are done and need to be done at daily basis. Due to the exceptional situation in DRC, there are daily cases that need support to avoid any political involvement in some of the park issues.
By Helping Virunga, you help to protect threatened species.
Thanks to Robert J. and Nacy A. for your support