DRC miners, militants threaten apes’ future

images (1)From JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE African great apes are at increasing risk of extinction as artisanal miners and militants invading parks hunt them for food in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The majority of individuals implicated said they hunted mostly out of necessity in the absence of any alternative protein.
Artisanal and small-scale mining represents a significant source of livelihoods in the DRC, where an estimated 8-10 million people (14-16 percent of the country’s population in 2008) take part in the industry.
Gorilla numbers have declined by 77 percent over the past 20 years due to hunting, which the presence of mining sites continues to fuel.
Wildlife rangers trying to protect these natural resources face extreme danger as armed militias and insurgent groups inside national parks occupy vast swaths of wildlife habitat in order to illegally control and exploit access to minerals.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) raised concern.
“Mining in the region can be greatly improved through the demilitarization of mining sites along with law enforcement to prevent bushmeat hunting, and more access to domestic sources of protein that would reduce the need for bushmeat,” said Richard Tshombe, Director for WCS’s DRC programme.
Artisanal and small-scale mining represents a significant source of livelihoods in the DRC, where an estimated 8-10 million people (14-16 percent of the country’s population in 2008) take part in the industry.
In the eastern part of the country, mining operations have had devastating impacts on wildlife, even within the confines of protected areas such as Kahuzi-Biega National Park and the Itombwe Nature Reserve.

– CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=20127

Posted by on May 29 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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