VNR: Co-operation that counts - Helping the world by preserving biodiversity
From 19 to 21 September 2006, a high-level conference on Biodiversity conservation will take place in Paris. On this occasion, we release a background video report on the challenges of preserving ecosystems in Central Africa.
The report is filmed in Central Africa (Gabon and Democratic Republic of Congo), where the issues of poverty and war seriously hinder the quest to save the ecosystem. However, thanks to the commitment of local organisations and funding from the EU, a distinct improvement in biodiversity conservation can be seen.
But how are these initiatives maintained in times of war? The report highlights the conviction of local stakeholders and the EU to continue these efforts, regardless of political instability. By supporting the ICCN (Congolese Institute for Nature Protection), the EU has helped local authorities combat the threat of poaching, one of the most serious threats to these protected natural habitats. But the ICCN rangers also take on the more social and rather delicate task of raising awareness amongst the local people. It is not easy to make the villagers- who live in difficult circumstances around the parks- understand that they must stop cutting wood and killing animals. "One can't think of making a partition wall between the people who live around this nature and the resources that the nature can provide them", says Carlo de Filippi, Head of EC Delegation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the wake of overcoming war, poverty and hunger, why should saving ecosystems be a priority for locals? In fact, by increasing and maintaining wildlife and faun, sources of food and quality of life is improved. What is more, by creating environmental havens, tourism can be developed in these areas, such as gorilla tracking. With positive consequences for the local economy.
The VNR was shot in the Virunga National Park (DRC) and in the Lopé National Park (Gabon). SHOTLIST