For Immediate Release
On the seventh of July 2016, Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) officially established Lomami National Park, the first national park since 1970 and only the eighth in the country. This park of 8,874 km2 is carved from what was, ten years ago, the largest unknown forest block in DR Congo, 40,000 km2 between the rivers Tshuapa and Lualaba. Therein lies the Lomami basin, an area with little settlement and about which there was no knowledge, beyond that of local hunters concerning forest composition or the identity of animals it sheltered.
Canadian Ape Alliance visits the highly endangered Grauer’s gorilla (Eastern lowland gorilla) in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, DRC.
By Matt Brunette
My trip took me from Kenya to Rwanda to DR Congo in just about 2 weeks. It was a lot to take in but it was a truly amazing experience. The purpose of the trip was to assess current projects and develop new strategies for eastern lowland gorilla conservation in Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP) with the Canadian Ape Alliance, an organization I have been volunteering with over the past few years. We were able to meet with Strong Roots Congo and the United Nation’s Great Ape Survival Program (GRASP) to get a better idea of the status of eastern lowland gorillas in DR Congo.
The article titled “The Left Bank Ape” in the latest issue of National geographic takes an exclusive look at bonobos living in the remote regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nick January from Canadian Ape Alliance worked with the National Geographic Society on a Bonobo habitat map defined by new boundary park lines for TL2.
There is generally good news, at least for the short term on the situation in DRC. M23 is officially moving out of Goma now.
However, they are only pulling back by between 20-40 kilometers and it looks like they will continue to control the airport. Goma lost power and water for over a week, Bakavu and the regions around our projects were not attacked or occupied. Yet many NGO’s have at least temporarily suspended activities. There have been some cross border clashes between Rwanda and DRC.
Unfortunately, virtually everyone agrees, it looks like we are now moving into a much less stable period. We will carry on as best we are able. In the meantime, we will go on with the school and other projects.