Under-threat DR Congo national park bans tree-felling

May 10, 2018
Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The threatened Virunga National Park in DR Congo announced on Thursday it has banned the felling of trees throughout the nature reserve.

"The management of the Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature wishes to bring to the attention of the resident of Beni and its surroundings that it is forbidden to fell trees in the ," a statement read.

"The incentives to destroy the park are contrary to the rule of law and destroy the common heritage for the benefit of individual and illicit enrichment."

Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is threatened by numerous armed groups in the region, including Ugandan rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

It is Africa's oldest national park and is Africa's most biologically diverse protected area of some 7,800 square kilometres (3,000 square miles), according to its website.

Joel Wengamulay, a communication officer for the park, told AFP that "unknown people sell spaces inside the park for $250 (210 euro) and take advantage of the situation to cut down and make more money" in the Beni area, especially near the Ugandan border.

Authorities and the United Nations accuse the ADF of being responsible for the massacres of some 1,000 civilians in the Beni region since 2014, as well as 15 peacekeepers at the end of 2017.

Five park guards and a driver were killed in an ambush in early April.

Global Witness, an international NGO, has recently accused the Congolese government of planning to reclassify "swathes" of the park to allow oil exploration to take place.

Explore further: NGOs call for oil drilling ban at Africa's Virunga wildlife park

Related Stories

WWF urges DRC not to change Virunga park boundaries

March 18, 2015

Conservation group WWF on Wednesday urged the Democratic Republic of Congo to "drop any plans" of modifying the boundaries of Virunga national park—home to the mountain gorilla—for oil exploration purposes.

Recommended for you

Study shows city rats eat better than country rats

October 17, 2018

A pair of researchers, one with Trent University in Canada, the other the University of Manchester in the U.K. has found evidence that rats living in cities have a much richer diet than rats living in the country. In their ...

A curious branch of plankton evolution

October 17, 2018

Planktonic foraminifera (forams) - tiny, shelled organisms that float in the sea—left behind one of the most complete fossil records of evolutionary history in deep sea deposits. Consequently, evolutionists have a relatively ...

Regulating gene transcription using light

October 17, 2018

Researchers led by Mustafa Khammash have developed a new method that uses blue light to control the transcription of DNA into RNA in single cells. The technology could also be used in tissue engineering and stem cell research.

Climate changes require better adaptation to drought

October 17, 2018

Europe's future climate will be characterised by more frequent heat waves and more widespread drought. Heat and drought will both challenge crop production, but drought in particular will be a problem—especially for spring ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.