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Conflict resolution takes place in Virungas
20 August 2008

Since the civil war began in DR Congo in the mid 1990s, more than120 park rangers have been killed in the line of duty, and in 2007 nine gorillas lost their lives as a result of conflict inside the national park. To put an end to this devastation, from 13 to 14 August, 2008, a conflict resolution forum was held in Goma, DR Congo, to discuss the management of the park and put in place some guidelines to prevent any future tragedies.

The Gorilla Organization joined other conservation groups, the Congolese wildlife authority (ICCN), local chiefs and journalists at the forum, which was chaired by the governor of North Kivu Province, Julien Paluku Kahongya. The discussions focused on rebuilding and reconstructing the national park for today’s generations, and all participants adopted the following terms.

  • To restore and protect the integrity of the Virunga National Park
  • To actively participate in the process of redefining the boundary of Virunga National Park
  • To assist in condemning the destruction of the national park by agriculture, illegal fishing, poaching, illegal establishment of settlements, charcoal production or any other practice liable to impair the value of the park and its integrity
  • To raise environmental awareness among the communities of North Kivu Province

There is great hope that this renewed commitment to protect the Virunga National Park, one of the last remaining habitats of the endangered mountain gorillas, will prevent any more unnecessary deaths in the future.

 

for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org