Dialogue Worldwide – Political instability in the Central African Republic affects the region’s wildlife as well. Following a coup, the Dzanga-Sangha reserve can no longer be properly run. That’s opened the door to rampant illegal poaching.
The rainforest of the Central African Republic is home to rare wild elephants, marsh antelopes and lowland gorillas which are protected by international organizations. But the country is one of the most politically instable places in the world. Following a coup, poachers and armed militias stormed the base of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the Dzanga-Sangha reserve earlier this year. The station was destroyed and around 30 elephants were killed. Until today, environmental activists and conservationists are unable to return to the park because the situation remains dangerous and chaotic.
It’s not just the local population that is suffering as a result, but also the region’s elephants, antelopes and gorillas. Poaching remains a highly lucrative business in the region as well as in the protected reserves in the neighboring states of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Poor equipment, corruption and weak political will have complicated efforts to halt species loss in the DRC. However, there’s no dearth of funds to help protect biodiversity in the region. The International Climate Initiative (IKI), Germany’s government-owned KfW bank and other organizations have set aside millions to protect deforestation, illegal poaching and the exploitation of natural resources.
DW– “The Congo Basin has been called the “Green Heart of Africa,” a place where wildlife roams free among a vast and varied landscape of forests, savannas and swamps. Stretching across six countries, the basin boasts rare species like the bongo antelope and lowland and mountain gorillas, and it’s also one of the largest water and carbon storage reservoirs in Central Africa. But the region is also rich in valuable resources, from minerals to tropical timber, and the changing climate has put the entire basin at risk. Now, three countries – Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – have come together to save the precious region from ruin. The International Climate Initiative and Germany’s development bank are providing the funds and support to help them do so.”