A Geographic look at bushmeat hunting in DRCongo.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are there safe sites for forest animals in DR Congo ? It is, after all, a country of many protected areas. Are these parks and reserves safe?

Information from the recent war and post war period is not reassuring. Protected areas were/are very permeable to arms and bushmeat trafficking.

The very fact that there are people to quote, means that there are people fighting to assert the integrity of these areas. Major setbacks have been followed by major steps forward.

We CAN have a future WITH Congo’s forest animals. The promise lies in formal protected areas. Although far from problem-free, these can make a big difference that we are now beginning to witness. How so?

1) There is a legal basis to arrest and prosecute not only elephant poachers but bushmeat hunters in protected areas.
2) There is a national institutional structure with wardens and park guards, the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN).
3) There is an international interest in Congolese protected areas and nature conservation. This international interest brought key protected areas through war with borders intact and animals inside. And it is that international interest that is allowing ICCN and the protected areas to reconstitute post-war.
4) Finally: new areas. There are remote areas that retain rich faunas. The ICCN is committed to protect these. Effective protection will depend upon discovery of the most crucial areas and effective support from local populations. Then national and international backing must be brought to these areas so that ICCN can build a park infrastructure from ground up.

Source from : http://www.bonoboincongo.com/2008/03/09/bushmeat-4-tl2-in-the-middle/

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